Day-after-day for weeks extra confirmed and possible coronavirus instances are confirmed in New Zealand, however thus far this week that numbers have been dropping.
Does this imply the virus is being stamped out?
Not going. Well being and authorities officers have repeatedly warned the numbers would proceed to rise, probably into the hundreds, earlier than the scenario improved.
So what does the lower imply? Here is what we all know.
* Coronavirus: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says fewer cases confirmed but too early to assess
* Coronavirus: New Zealand has 708 cases of the virus, rising by 47 cases
* Coronavirus: One new confirmed case of coronavirus in Taranaki
* Coronavirus: Three days of fewer confirmed cases doesn’t mean New Zealand has slowed the virus
CASES DECREASING BUT TOO EARLY TO CALL
First, let’s take a look at the downward trend the day by day variety of confirmed and possible instances seem to current.
The ministry’s director of public well being, Dr Caroline McElnay, stated the figures had been “encouraging” but it surely was too early to find out what the decreases meant. The prime minister supported this message.
“I need to emphasise once more that it’s nonetheless too early to evaluate if our measures are efficiently slowing transmission,” Ardern stated.
FEWER TESTS, FEWER CASES?
The variety of exams being carried out across the nation weren’t reaching the capability created by the federal government. However it wasn’t apparent if this was resulting from fewer individuals presenting with signs or fewer clinicians ordering exams, McElnay stated.
“We’re seeing a plateauing of the variety of exams, it is a lot too early to learn into these figures … we can’t cease retaining a detailed eye on it,” she stated at Wednesday’s media convention.
Weekends had been proving troublesome because it was frequent for exams to drop off. This might be resulting from individuals being unable to entry medical providers, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated. Due to this, McElnay did not assume it acceptable to evaluate the day by day numbers, as a substitute, utilizing an extended lens to view three day tallies was required.
The testing capability had expanded to 3700 a day, however the latest seven day rolling common of exams carried out was 1843 a day. On Wednesday, Ardern introduced that determine had risen to 2093 exams.
With extra laboratories testing samples, the capability would quickly improve to extra then 4000 exams a day, ideally 5000.
“5 thousand can be a super quantity, the extra testing that we will do the higher,” McElnay stated.
Beforehand, the precise case definition which decided who might be examined, was limiting the number of tests undertaken. A number of individuals had been displaying signs of the virus, however did not match the standards – they hadn’t travelled abroad lately or been linked to somebody who had – they usually were being refused tests.
On Wednesday, the case definition was changed to include anybody with respiratory signs according to coronavirus, no matter journey historical past or contact with confirmed instances. It was believed the change would lead to extra exams, which might lead to one other spike in confirmed and possible instances.
This may then be consistent with Ardern’s message from Tuesday to “take a look at, take a look at, take a look at”.
CASES WILL INCREASE
In the beginning of the four-week lockdown, the prime minister and director-general of public well being Dr Ashley Bloomfield drove dwelling the notion that the nation’s scenario would worsen throughout the first 10 days.
McElnay reiterated that on Wednesday.
“We nonetheless anticipate to see that improve as a result of now we shall be getting extra testing.”
So from Thursday, the variety of instances might probably spike as testing ramped up.
Individuals should not turn into complacent and loosen their habits whereas in lockdown. McElnay stated self-isolation was nonetheless the primary message to ship to everybody throughout the nation.
Ardern added the identical message she’s been sending Kiwis virtually on a regular basis.
“I will repeat as I at all times do. Keep at dwelling. Solely exit if that you must, and while you do keep native. Hold two metres other than others, stick solely to your bubble and act like you have got the virus.”
IMPORTANCE OF LOCKDOWN
It was too early to find out whether or not lockdown necessities had been slowing the unfold of the virus, however the clusters that had emerged had been a sign of how shortly the virus might unfold with out lockdown.
“If we weren’t at degree 4, we might see outbreaks that had been far, far worse down the observe [than the Marist College and Matamata pub clusters],” Ardern stated.
Alert level four was the eradicate stage of the federal government’s plan. It indicated the virus wasn’t contained, there was sustained and intensive transmission and widespread outbreaks. It required individuals to remain dwelling, shut non-essential companies, and severely restrict non-essential journey.
All of those measures aided the discount of neighborhood transmission. In New Zealand, there was proof of this sort of transmission but it surely was nonetheless not identified the extent of it.
If lockdown wasn’t in place and other people continued to go about their day by day duties, neighborhood transmission might probably ramp up, leading to extra clusters and instances across the nation.
“We additionally do not have a full image of the extent of neighborhood transmission, that’s the reason now we have been so centered on growing testing capability,” Ardern stated.
“If we proceed as we’re … then that provides us one of the best hope of having the ability to transfer into totally different alert ranges,” the prime minister stated.