National is calling for an urgent investigation into the construction of a quarantine facility built on purpose Covid-19 on the outskirts of the Aucklands, to help protect against future blockages in our largest city.
Chris Bishop of the National. Source: 1 NEWS
Nationals for Covid-19 response spokesman Chris Bishop said recent cases at the Pullman Hotel showed just how dangerous another community outbreak in Auckland was.
New Zealand has no chance of keeping worries inside and outside the blockade, and the Aucklands economy cannot afford to keep bleeding more than $ 30 million a day, he said.
National said the government could model structures in Victorian governments that plan to have a cabin-style center outside the Melbournes CBD to replace its MIQ hotels following a recent explosion leading to a deadlock.
This facility is likely to be a village with pre-fabricated one-story structures with separate ventilation systems for each room. The returnees share the building but not the same roof, Bishop said in a statement.
Having plenty of fresh air reduces the risk of airborne transmission among returnees, while the isolated location makes it more difficult for the virus to find its way into densely populated urban areas where it can spread more quickly. Facilities allocated on site for staff also reduce the likelihood that they will bring Covid-19 into the community.
National says free land near Auckland Airport can be used for the facility at cost covered by contributions from the Government, the private sector and New Zealand return payments,
A purpose-built facility may be expensive, but its cost will be offset by the economic shock of placing Auckland in more congestion.
The use of hotels for managed isolation and quarantine has proven problematic, which is why experts have long suggested purpose-built facilities.
The bishop referred to the latest article by Professors Michael Baker and Nick Wilson, who said there had been at least 10 border control failures since July 2020 and at least five internal failures of the MIQ structure.
They also said the hotels have inherent problems with shared spaces and inadequate ventilation.
Bishop says it is clear New Zealand will need MIQ equipment for some time to come with mass vaccination by the end of the year and the facility could be turned into much-needed housing when it was no longer needed for quarantine .
We did our best not to keep Covid-19 in force, but that came at a great cost. Maintaining this effort will require innovative thinking, especially as the virus transforms.
If done properly, the new quarantine facility in Auckland could be turned into much-needed housing once it has served its original purpose. The request for this structure will not expire.
The government must act now to overcome the problem in the face of another Covid-19 explosion force and another blockade. We have had more than enough wake-up calls.
Your playlist will load after this ad
The spread of the strokes, which begins Saturday, will initially vaccinate border workers and their families or close contacts. Source: Breakfast
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told Breakfast earlier this week that intentionally built quarantine facilities were unlikely to be built by the Government because of the construction time and staffing challenges of such facilities.
“It’s a bit like a prison. If you build a prison in the middle of nowhere, your biggest obstacle is not being imprisoned, which makes people go to work in prison,” Hipkins said.
At this point we were not planning to have people in our isolation facilities managed beyond this year. We keep that opportunity open.
The goal is definitely not to have those border restrictions in place indefinitely.