Covid-19: Too quickly to be optimistic over dimension, unfold of outbreak – epidemiologist

Professor Michael Baker.

2021-08-21 23:44:03

Epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker says case numbers of the Delta variant of Covid-19 are monitoring as anticipated, but it surely’s too early to inform how excessive they may go.

Professor Michael Baker.

Professor Michael Baker.
Photograph: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Professor Baker mentioned it remained attainable that these contaminated with the pressure had travelled to different elements of the nation and it might unfold exterior of Auckland and Wellington.

He mentioned issues would grow to be clearer as soon as extra take a look at outcomes began to come back in.

“We have heard from the modeller a spread of estimates from 50 to 120 instances. I feel that is nonetheless a reasonably lifelike vary. That is clearly a center vary estimate as a result of it may be simply much more if a kind of instances once they have been contaminated went to an excellent spreading type of occasion.”

He mentioned it was too early to be optimistic the instances have been confined to Auckland and Wellington.

“I do not assume we will assure that. The opposite identified contacts have been distributed throughout the nation so these folks I think about shall be having the checks over the weekend and early subsequent week so the outcomes from these will not be obtainable till Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.”

He mentioned wastewater testing would even be very useful info.

The speedy shift to alert stage 4 restrictions was a superb transfer by the federal government and would have restricted the unfold of the cluster.

“The issue at all times is the outliers and we all know the lockdown could be very efficient but it surely does have some weak spots. A type of is the important employees that are 15 p.c of the inhabitants. If, for instance, one in every of them was contaminated, they might doubtlessly current the virus extra extensively.

“That is why it is so essential that they put on masks and are vaccinated.

“The opposite potential weak level in that is that we all know the demographic who have been contaminated have been a younger age group and so they have large social networks and so they might generally really feel much less engaged with the response.”

He mentioned the masks mandate would assist everybody get out of lockdown sooner.

“This isn’t perpetually. That is only for this era when there’s a threat of a circulating virus.”

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