30 Apr 2020

Covid-19: What happened on 30 April

6:59 pm on 30 April 2020

It's the last day of April, and three days back into alert level 3. The last day of March - when the country was settling into a lockdown routine - feels like a long time ago.

(Clockwise from top left) Today, Dr Ashley Bloomfield annuonced three new Covid-19 cases, GPs are calling for a health system reform, the Human Rights Commission has delivered a report on the coronavirus response, and people queue outside an Auckland business during alert level 3.

Photo: RNZ / Supplied

Covid-19 news rolls on, although for New Zealand, it's different than for many other countries.

Today, Aotearoa reported just three new cases of Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, the 12th day in a row the increase has remained in single digits.

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said 84 percent of cases had now recovered.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP

National vaccine strategy needed

There are urgent calls for the government to develop a national vaccine strategy, and someone to lead it, amid fears New Zealand could be at the back of the queue for any potential Covid-19 vaccine.

Most infectious disease experts agree any Covid-19 vaccine is at best 12 to 18 months away.

About 40 teams of scientists globally are working on coronavirus vaccines and some 80 vaccines are in early-stage development.

But it is complicated - different technologies to work with, a lengthy process, a lack of reference material, since no human ever encountered Covid-19 before December 2019 - and not only that, there is no vaccine against any type of coronavirus yet.

Human Rights Commission's recommendations

The Human Rights Commission has strongly commended the government's response to Covid-19 but says more could be done to ensure the Treaty of Waitangi and human rights is at the centre of decision and policy making.

The commission has released a report highlighting 10 major areas of concern, and more than 30 recommendations.

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt said putting human rights and the Treaty of Waitangi at the centre of the Covid-19 response was vital.

Health reform urged

GPs calling for reform of New Zealand's health system after hard lessons learned from Covid-19 want the delayed Health and Disability System Review and recommendations - which was due in March - to be released.

The review aimed to ensure the health and disability system was better balanced towards wellness, access, equity, and sustainability.

Its interim report found the health system's structure was overly complicated and lacked leadership, and said people using the services need be placed at the heart of the system.

However, it did not provide recommendations - something the final report was intending to do.

The problems faced by jobless immigrants

An immigration consultant is warning an entrenched underclass of unlawful workers will emerge unless the government provides emergency benefits to unemployed immigrants.

About one in ten of the workforce is an overseas worker on a temporary visa.

Immigration adviser Alain Koetsier has called on the Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, to implement a section of the Social Security Act, enacted for epidemic situations, to allow emergency welfare payments to immigrants.

Concerns about level 3 restriction breaches

Complaints of businesses breaching level 3 restrictions are flooding in, but there is uncertainty around who will police the breaches.

Now that thousands more workplaces are open, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is promising a tough stance.

There were 742 complaints of businesses not complying with the rules on the first day of alert level 3, most over the lack of social distancing.

Ardern said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) would be following up on the complaints.

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

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