Auckland Mayor Phil Goff with Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield at the Eleventh
Annual Indian Newslink Lecture on August 16, 2021 at Mahatma Gandhi Centre, Auckland
(INL Photo by Narendra Bedekar)
The day before the latest community outbreak of Covid-19, Indian Newslink hosted the Director-General of Health Dr Ashely Bloomfield, as the Guest Speaker at its Eleventh Annual Indian Newslink Lecture (on August 16, 2021 at Mahatma Gandhi Centre).
Sitting next to him over dinner, we celebrated 169 days of Auckland and New Zealand being Covid-free.
We agreed that we were incredibly fortunate in being the safest country on the world, able to live almost normally and with the economy recovering faster than any in the world. We also agreed that the new delta variant of Covid-19 rampant in Australia and around the world was a real and present risk for infiltrating New Zealand.
Less than 24 hours later, that proved to be the case, and now we are in Auckland’s third week of Alert Level 4 lockdown. Fortunately, the lockdown was implemented swiftly and on current figures cases are trending down.
But to win the battle, we all need to follow the rules.
Simple but effective precautions
Stay home and within your bubble unless you are accessing essential services or travelling to essential work. If you do go out, use the NZ Covid Tracer App to track your movements. Wash your hands regularly and wear a mask whenever you are outside of the house.
If you have any symptoms of Covid-19, you are a contact of a confirmed case, or you have visited a location of interest at the specific date and time indicated by the Ministry of Health, it is important that you get a test as soon as possible, and self-isolate until you have received your results. Please only get a test if you need one; this will help ensure that the right people are tested and reduce wait times at testing stations.
It is also important to get vaccinated when it is your turn.
Vaccination bookings are now open to everyone aged over 12.
The vaccine is safe, free for everyone and is the best way to protect yourself, your family and your community from Covid-19. Please book for an appointment as soon as you are eligible and encourage others in your community to do the same. It only takes five minutes to book online, and if you do not have access to the internet, you can book over the phone by calling the Covid Vaccination Healthline on 0800-282926. All calls are free, and the team are available from 8 am to 8 pm, on all days of the week.
You can ask for an interpreter if you need one.
Visit www.covid19.govt.nz for more information and to book your vaccine.
This website is also the official government site for all updates and information regarding Covid-19. It has information including guidelines for self-isolation, how to access financial assistance, and what to do if you feel unwell. I encourage you to visit it regularly and share the information there widely.
As done previously, Auckland Council information will be updated regularly on our website www.ourauckland.nz
I encourage you to visit this site regularly and share it with your families and communities.
While it is disappointing that Covid-19 has once again emerged in our community. It is not surprising given the extreme transmissibility of the new variant.
Fortunately, we know that the health precautions we already have in place will be effective if everyone follows them. Please remember to look out for yourself and your community during this time. We are all in this together and we will get through it once again by supporting each other.
Phil Goff is Mayor of Auckland. He writes a regular Column in Indian Newslink.