General Practitioner says home isolation will worsen Covid spread

And what the College of Midwives says plus the Addington Cup Week

Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare (RNZ Phone by Samuel Rillstone)

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Wellington, October 19, 2021

A South Auckland doctor has warned that home isolation could result in a greater spread of the virus particularly in areas where homes are overcrowded and Vaccination rates are low.

According to a government decision, people with Covid-19 will soon be asked to quarantine at home, rather than being ushered to a managed isolation facility.

But the idea appears to have been progressed without any consultation with the communities who would be harmed by the decision, Manukau General Practitioner and Chairman of Pasifika GP Network Api Talemaitoga told Morning Report.

Maori, Pacifica not consulted

“I do not see any Maori or Pacific clinical leadership around the planning of this and it just shows that we have not learnt from our lessons, that we still [think] that one size fits all is going to work for everybody. You cannot isolate someone at home when ten people live in a three-bedroom house,” he said.

Dr Talemaitoga warned that the risk of self-isolation will be very high and that self-isolation will be dangerous since people in lower Vaccinated areas live in overcrowded houses.

Appeal to Vaccinate

Meanwhile, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare has appealed to the Maori to bump up Vaccination rates, thanking Maori leaders, iwi, hapu, practitioners, Vaccinators and the staff of District Health Boards for their part in boosting the Vaccination drive.

He said that over the past two weeks, before Super Saturday (October 16, 2021), he travelled to a number of DHBs and saw the great work but also identified a number of challenges.

He asked those who were not on board for their help.

“Our whanau need you and to many of them you are the trusted person who will be key to them making an informed decision about the vaccination.”

Significant funding had already been provided to Hauora Maori to support and build capability for the Vaccine Programme, he said.

Mr Henare said that an announcement will be made later in the week regarding support for the Maori Vaccination effort.

“We have seen the threat that this current Covid-19 outbreak is to the wellbeing of Maori communities with a total of 560 Maori cases recorded. In the last two weeks, Maori have made up 45.7% of total cases vs 28% throughout the entire outbreak. Although sobering, these numbers reinforce why vaccinating our communities is so important.”

“So I say to the Maori people, “Covid-19 is on the doorstep of your houses, do not let it enter and the best course of protection still remains for us to vaccinate our people.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that they have always been concerned with creating a space where it can be interpreted that there is room for people to be left behind. They have been thinking about Maori Vaccination rates in the work they are doing ahead of Friday.

She said that the work going on right now with Maori providers and the government needs to make sure that it provided all the resources required, was critical.

College of Midwives

The New Zealand College of Midwives believes that women’s health is being sidelined by the MIQ booking system. It has joined calls for expectant parents to have easier access to bookings and said midwives urgently need allocations as well.

Last week RNZ reported that expectant couples, trying to reunite before their baby arrives, were getting caught up in the MIQ booking bottleneck.

College Chief Executive Alison Eddy said that it was extraordinary that there was not already an emergency allocation category for pregnant women or their partners.

“Policies that remove support for women during pregnancy, birth and in the postnatal period are inherently risky. We must concert all efforts needed to ensure that the situation was remedied as soon as possible.

Addington Cup Week to go-ahead

For the first time in its 117-year history, the Addington Cup Week will not be open to the public. The Organisers in Church had hoped that the South Island would have dropped to an alert level without restrictions in time for the event in the second week of November.

Addington Raceway Chief Executive Brian Thompson said that the races go ahead but without the crowds.

The Canterbury A&P Show, one of the events that make up Cup and Show Week, was cancelled earlier this month for the second consecutive year.

Addington Raceway Racing Industry Manager Darrin Williams said that it was incredibly disappointing but anticipated that bars and restaurants may still benefit from punters determined to celebrate the event.

The raceway will suffer a close to 20% hit on its finances due to the public being closed off from the racing.

-Published under a Special Agreement with www.rnz.co.nz

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