Coronavirus update: this is becoming a series.

I read my author’s blogs. Peter Grant writes researched and realistic Westerns. He talks about expeditions, logistics, caches, finances and risks. Read his books. His comments on the preparation is correct. Our press are panicking. We should not. We should have enough food in the place anyway.

See, also, the hysteria surrounding Vice-President Pence, who is (according to some news media) allegedly “anti-science” because of some of his ethical and moral positions. I have news for them: he doesn’t have to be a scientist to be in charge of anti-COVID-19 precautions – he has to be a manager and organizer. There are technical specialists who can (and will) handle the science, and report to him. He, with the help of others, will decide how their efforts are to be applied in the wider sphere. That’s not rocket science (or medical science, for that matter) – that’s business and administration.

Expect bureaucracies and bureaucrats to be inefficient. That’s their basic nature, after all. Ask any American who’s had to deal with their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to get, or renew, a driver’s license, or register a vehicle, or something like that. I don’t expect much better from the official COVID-19 response; but that’s OK. Most of us have muddled through despite all the obstacles the the DMV can put in our path. I daresay we’ll do the same in dealing with this virus.

The “panic buying” reported by the news media is probably precisely that. I remain astonished at the number of people who don’t have an emergency reserve of any kind in their homes. I think everyone should be able to cope without outside support (shops, travel, even electric power if necessary) for at least two or three weeks. That’s rock-bottom basic. Miss D. and I have enough to get by for up to three months (which is what we can afford, and for which we have enough storage)

Meanwhile, we were informed today:

Earlier today the World Health Organisation said on its website that a second New Zealand case had been confirmed.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield then confirmed the citizen is a woman in her 30s who had recently returned from a trip to Italy.

The positive test result was formally reported to the ministry at about 6pm yesterday. At that point, health authorities began notifying the woman and her family and started the process of contact tracing.

The woman returned on an Air New Zealand flight NZ0283, from Singapore to Auckland on 25 February.

Bloomfield said anyone who was on that flight and is concerned or wants information should contact the Healthline number (0800 358 5453).

The woman also took two domestic flights – one on 2 March from Auckland to Palmerston North (NZ5103), and on the same day from Palmerston North to Auckland (NZ8114).

Bloomfield said the woman is self-isolating at home and is being monitored. She does not require hospitalisation.

Her partner has also displayed symptoms and is being tested.

Bloomfield said with continued vigilance, the chance of widespread community outbreak remains low.

Contact is being made with the two medical centres where the woman sought advice and treatment to determine whether there is any risk to staff or other people who may have been at the centre at that time. Contact tracing and action will be taken as required.

Two schools have also been notified about the positive test as there is a family member at each of those schools. These schools are Westlake Boys and Westlake Girls’ High Schools.

The family members who attend these schools are not symptomatic and are now at home in isolation. They did not travel to Italy, are both well and are being monitored.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said there was no cause for alarm, and parents and students should rest assured that the schools had the situation in hand.

The Ministry of Health reportedly called the press conference after enquiries from RNZ’s Checkpoint about a positive Covid-19 case.

New Zealand’s first case was a woman who had returned from Iran via Bali. She is recovering in hospital in Auckland.

The ministry said 160 tests have been carried out. All the testing of New Zealanders for Covid-19 were being done in New Zealand.

Air New Zealand says it is working closely with government agencies to identify and contact other passengers on board the international and domestic flights.

The airline’s chief medical officer Dr Ben Johnston said the three aircraft will undergo a deep clean using a disinfectant that kills viruses.

Radio New Zealand

Now about those tests… the ministry denies rationing.

People with coronavirus-type symptoms are reportedly being turned away from testing at Wellington Hospital because they don’t fit strict criteria.

As the Government awaits the results of two more people “highly suspicious” of having the virus, a senior Wellington Hospital doctor has told Stuff, under the condition of anonymity, that tests for Covid-19 were being refused for patients, even if they were showing symptoms of the virus.

These are people who had been to countries including the United States, parts of Europe, Vietnam, and Australia.

“Each of these regions has instances of apparent community coronavirus spread,” the doctor said.

Dominion Post

And I find myself agreeing with a socialist activist I have disagreed with since I first heard him talk to my freshman class at Uni.

It’s the usual do it as cheap as possible parameters that any Government Agency in NZ operates under.

Here we have a situation that states because people arriving with symptoms aren’t from designated countries like Iran and China, then there’s no testing available.

Conspiracy theorists will claim it’s the Government hiding the true scale of infection, trust me, I wish our Wellington bureaucrats were that clever, this is just obscene stupidity based on their usual cheapness.

It’s a fucking joke and if Jacinda isn’t careful, we will see a pandemic break out and she will get the blame for it erupting because her incompetent Wellington bureaucrats are being their usual bureaucratic Wellington selves.

If anyone is arriving with symptoms they should be tested, it doesn’t matter if they aren’t from China or fucking Iran, the bloody thing can hide in the community, it needs testing now.

We need to sort this now. Testing is cheap. Deaths are not: and if there is no testing, the borders will be closed: if not by us, by others, who do not want to let infection back in.

Stay clean, stay quiet, stay away from crowds. And don’t beleive our leaders.

UPDATE.
Third case in NZ now. No details as yet.

What we lack is the infrastructure to handle it.

People need to be aware Southern District Health Board hospitals will have a limited capacity to deal with severe Covid-19 cases should the disease eventually begin circulating in the community, board chief medical officer Nigel Millar says.

He saw the risk of a major epidemic as low, but if there was one, the board would not want people with mild to moderate symptoms turning up at hospitals.

The SDHB has 22 negative pressure rooms — 13 in Dunedin, eight in Southland and one at Lakes District Hospital, Queenstown.

It has 113 single rooms with bathrooms which it could use in an outbreak, 73 of them in Dunedin, 39 in Southland and one in Queenstown.

Korea and Italy had ‘‘run into problems’’ because so many people went into hospitals which filled up quite rapidly, exposing other patients and staff to the disease.

Dr Millar was commenting on the Southern situation following the DHB’s monthly meeting in Invercargill this week.

There, chairman of the board’s hospital advisory committee Dr David Perez said a committee discussion on the possible impact of Covid-19 on the hospital service had highlighted that capacity to deal with severe cases was very limited.