The last family infected with Covid-19 failed to tell authorities that they had contact with another family during the last three-day blockade.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking that the revelation was made only after several phone calls to the family by health officials.
This now meant that there was a live chain of transmission in the current explosion.
“Obviously we had contacts here at level 3 when it should not have happened,” she said.
“This was a family which had already been identified as having Covid and so was part of tracking contacts and did not identify that they had contacts with this family,” Ardern said.
“If we had known this, the other family we now found a week later, they would have been in close contact and quarantined and we would not have this situation. The truth is so important to us. “
Ardern told The AM Show “whether or not they forgot they lied, I can not tell you and obviously had devastating consequences.”
She said whether any action would result or not did not belong to her.
“People do dumb things, but we will not get over these if people take them away to the point where they are not telling the truth.”
She believed that the increased level of public responsibility would be in the future the biggest obstacle to not sharing all the details with officials.
In the future, anyone who does not comply with the isolation rules can expect a knock on the door from the police.
The Aucklanders plunged back into Level 3 restrictions for a full week from the start yesterday, with the rest of New Zealand at Level 2 after the 21-year-old MIT student – known as Case M – visited various public places before to come out positive.
He then went to the gym when he should have been in solitary confinement. His mother, Case N, also tested positive.
Last night, a new case – Case O – was discovered by the same house as several new places of interest were released on Case M movements, including an MIT cafe and Pak’nSave Cavendish Drive, as well as time New to Hunter Plaza and City Fitness gyms there.
Because the latest cases were of a highly contagious and unpredictable nature in the UK, Ardern said it was unlikely Auckland would leave level 3 before the seven-day blockade ended.
Meanwhile, associate professor of microbiology Dr Siouxsie Wells said a move to level 4 could be an opportunity if more community-based cases are discovered in the next two days.
“There may be a lot of people who are currently incubating the virus [in the community] and will come out positive in the following days.
“Of course, level 4 restrictions would be dealt with [the outbreak] faster because there are far fewer interactions between people. “
At the moment, health officials control people who are thought to be isolated through a phone call.
If a health officer cannot apprehend someone who is supposed to isolate them, there will be a personal visit that may involve the police, if necessary.
But National is calling on the Government to go further.
For example, occasional phone calls to those who should be in solitary confinement and a request that they confirm their whereabouts with a video call or photographic evidence.
“Monitoring of self-isolators should be rushed to ensure compliance,” said National Covid-19 Response spokesman Chris Bishop.
“That means regular checks on site, and if no contact is made within 24 hours, then the police are involved.”
Meanwhile, people were gathering this morning at a Covid-19 tara testing station with nearly 100 cars in the car park.
A Herald photographer at the scene said he was busy but was not functioning at full capacity.
“The queue is contained in the car park, but does not spill on the road.”
And traffic at the southern Auckland police checkpoint was relatively free from 9am this morning after a brief rush a few hours ago.
Speaking of Newstalk ZB at the checkpoint. Senior Sergeant Jonathon Chappell said 23,000 vehicles had passed through five checkpoints on Auckland’s southern border since the blockade began.
He told the AM Show that the figure was just below the total amount of vehicles that passed through the city checkpoints during the last three-day blockade.
In 22 hours, only 320 vehicles had been turned back for not having a legitimate reason to travel or not having the required documents, he said.
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