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What is the Covid-19 Exit Strategy of 'Zero Covid' countries such as Australia and New Zealand?

greyman42

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With 200 cases over there (I would assume that actual cases are far higher), hardly any full vaccination of the adult population and hardly any immunity in the population from previous infections, I can't see the government being able to prevent the spread of infections now and have lost control.

I can see the country locking down for several months to bring it back under control and give a big push on vaccination. Australia looks like the position that the UK was in around winter 2020.
Yes, Australia's policy has not turned out well and the government really have no where to go apart from vaccination which they should of pushed months ago. Glad i don't live there.
 
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Bantamzen

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Yet they had the strictest, and still do, of all the border controls in the world 'to keep the virus out', numbers maybe be lower, but I feel it will drag on and on over there.
Absolutely. I wonder if anyone on these forums who were in the "Australia got it right" camp would like to comment?
 

bramling

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Yes, Australia's policy has not turned out well and the government really have no where to go apart from vaccination which they should of pushed months ago. Glad i don't live there.

Do we know why they have fared so poorly in terms of vaccinations?

Any country promoting a lockdown / close borders strategy is essentially only buying time, so if you’re going to do that then surely the whole point is to get the vaccines rolled out at the quickest possible speed.

Surely they didn’t get a false sense of security, or think they could keep it out forever? I’d say keeping borders closed could be seen as a legitimate measure to buy time, but only on the understanding that there needs to be a very clear intention of how that time is going to be utilised, and with the realisation that eventually it’s going to break down, as it seems to have done.
 

brad465

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Do we know why they have fared so poorly in terms of vaccinations?

Any country promoting a lockdown / close borders strategy is essentially only buying time, so if you’re going to do that then surely the whole point is to get the vaccines rolled out at the quickest possible speed.

Surely they didn’t get a false sense of security, or think they could keep it out forever? I’d say keeping borders closed could be seen as a legitimate measure to buy time, but only on the understanding that there needs to be a very clear intention of how that time is going to be utilised, and with the realisation that eventually it’s going to break down, as it seems to have done.
I'm not 100% sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if the fact supposedly secure borders and relatively few cases when vaccines were getting their successful trial results in meant they didn't use any emergency authorisations to get them rolled out quickly, unlike here, the US and other countries with rapid winter spread. This certainly appears to be the case in New Zealand, which I don't believe started its rollout until mid-February (when we had our first 4 priority groups with 1 dose complete).

Even worse though for Australia was the reports not too long ago suggesting they can't open their borders even straight after everyone's been offered the vaccine, which really should question even some of the most extreme view holders. At the moment I believe they're planning on keeping them shut till at least mid-2022.

If this latest surge of cases does really take off there do need to be vocal calls in the country high up questioning the sustainability of this.
 

WelshBluebird

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Surely they didn’t get a false sense of security
Tbh I think they may well have. Given they were having large scale events when many other countries were in lockdown, I think they just dropped the ball on it!
Absolutely. I wonder if anyone on these forums who were in the "Australia got it right" camp would like to comment?
As above - they've massively dropped the ball on vaccinations.
 

Pakenhamtrain

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With 200 cases over there (I would assume that actual cases are far higher), hardly any full vaccination of the adult population and hardly any immunity in the population from previous infections, I can't see the government being able to prevent the spread of infections now and have lost control.

I can see the country locking down for several months to bring it back under control and give a big push on vaccination. Australia looks like the position that the UK was in around winter 2020.
Most of the cases are in Sydney:
I'm not 100% sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if the fact supposedly secure borders and relatively few cases when vaccines were getting their successful trial results in meant they didn't use any emergency authorisations to get them rolled out quickly, unlike here, the US and other countries with rapid winter spread. This certainly appears to be the case in New Zealand, which I don't believe started its rollout until mid-February (when we had our first 4 priority groups with 1 dose complete).

Even worse though for Australia was the reports not too long ago suggesting they can't open their borders even straight after everyone's been offered the vaccine, which really should question even some of the most extreme view holders. At the moment I believe they're planning on keeping them shut till at least mid-2022.

If this latest surge of cases does really take off there do need to be vocal calls in the country high up questioning the sustainability of this.
It's more the idiots in Canberrra threw most of thier chips into the AZ vaccine that as of now is only available to over 60s with Pfizer being made available to 40-59s. We have run out of Pfizer. We had the opportunity to buy 40 million doses from Pfizer 12 months ago the government went "na"


The only reason the government is saying they'll keep the borders shut until mid 22 is because there is a federal election due in the next 12 months.
 

takno

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It's more the idiots in Canberrra threw most of thier chips into the AZ vaccine that as of now is only available to over 60s with Pfizer being made available to 40-59s. We have run out of Pfizer. We had the opportunity to buy 40 million doses from Pfizer 12 months ago the government went "na"
The main problem with that is restricting the use of AZ so much. If you had plenty of both you might make that decision, but the risk from AZ in the over 40s is incredibly low. It's definitely not worth even a day of lockdown to avoid
 

Pakenhamtrain

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The main problem with that is restricting the use of AZ so much. If you had plenty of both you might make that decision, but the risk from AZ in the over 40s is incredibly low. It's definitely not worth even a day of lockdown to avoid
Technically under 60's can get AZ. The government changed the rules to allow it after consulting absolutely no one.

It went from AZ for everyone, AZ for over 50's, AZ for over 60's and now AZ for everyone but Pfizer is still preferred for under 60's speak to your GP before going to get AZ.


The messaging is all over the joint.
 

brad465

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Looks like the Sydney lockdown will rumble on:


Sydney residents will be in lockdown for another week as Australia's largest city fights to contain a Covid outbreak.
The New South Wales government said it had made the "difficult decision" as it battles the highly transmissible Delta strain.
A stay-at-home order was issued on 26 June.
Australia has recorded 910 deaths and fewer than 31,000 cases since the pandemic began.
Clusters have emerged after some people who were later found to be infected left their homes for essentials.
The outbreak of around 330 cases is the worst in the city this year.
A stay-at-home order covering more than five million residents in the Greater Sydney, Wollongong and Central Coast areas was due to be lifted on Friday. It has now been extended to 16 July. Schools will also be closed next week.
The New South Wales government said it recognised the "pain and stress" that lockdown was causing families and businesses.
 

Domh245

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Jacinda seems to be sticking her head in the sand. It would seem their exit strategy is simply "no"


New Zealand not willing to risk UK-style ‘live with Covid’ policy, says Jacinda Ardern​

Country may place UK on no-fly list if cases explode, as PM says countries are making ‘different choices’ on deaths from coronavirus

New Zealand has dismissed suggestions it should follow in Britain’s footsteps to “live with” Covid-19, saying the level of death proposed by Boris Johnson would be “unacceptable”.

If cases in Britain explode as a result of the lifted regulations, New Zealand may also consider putting the country on a no-fly list.

On Monday, Johnson announced plans to scrap regulations including on face masks and social distancing by 19 July, saying that Britain must “learn to live with” the virus. He said Covid cases would likely reach 50,000 a day within a fortnight, and “we must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from Covid”.

“That’s not something that we have been willing to accept in New Zealand,” the country’s Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, said at a press conference alongside the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Tuesday.

“One of the things the UK government have been very clear about [is] that there will be a spike in cases, potentially thousands of cases a day. There will be more people dying,” he said.

“We are likely to see more incremental change than dramatic change where we wake up one morning and say: ‘We just go back to the way things were before Covid-19.’”

Ardern, asked whether the country would accept deaths from Covid, said: “Different countries are taking different choices.

“The priority for me is how do we continue to preserve what New Zealand has managed to gain and give ourselves options, because this virus is not done with the world yet.”

Director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, said on Wednesday that New Zealand would be “watching closely” and could place the UK on a no-fly list if cases grew out of control.

“If they do get an increase in cases, we will be keeping a close eye on what that means for the risk of people traveling from the UK and that will inform our decisions here,” he said.

Asked if that could result in suspending flights, as New Zealand did with India in April, he said: “We actually review the risk status of all countries each week, so clearly if there is an increase in the number of cases that’s one of the things we’ll be watching very closely.”

Epidemiologist and public health professor Michael Baker said New Zealand’s future roadmap could be built on a mixture of high vaccination and other measures such as mask mandates, or limited lockdowns to contain outbreaks. He said the country was in a “privileged position” where it could make an informed choice about whether to continue with an elimination approach or change tack.

“By every metric [New Zealand’s elimination approach] is outperforming the alternatives – from a public health point of view, an equity point of view, a freedoms point of view … an economic point of view.”

Australia’s Covid current response is still very closely aligned with New Zealand’s in practice, but prime minister Scott Morrison’s rhetoric has recently shifted somewhat toward Johnson’s. Last week Morrison outlined a four-phase Australian reopening roadmap, saying that by phase three Covid would be treated like the flu or “any other infectious disease”.

Baker said public health professionals were “disturbed” by the UK’s return to allowing Covid to circulate unchecked, and that the phrase “living with it” was a “meaningless slogan” that failed to communicate the consequences of millions of infections, or the alternative options for managing the virus.

“We often absorb a lot of our rhetoric from Europe and North America, which have really managed the pandemic very badly,” he said. “I don’t think we should necessarily follow or accept Boris Johnson and co saying: “Oh, we have to learn to live with virus.’

“We always have to be a bit sceptical about learning lessons from countries that have failed very badly.”
 

Bantamzen

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birchesgreen

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Jacinda seems to be sticking her head in the sand. It would seem their exit strategy is simply "no"
Well considering the UK had more covid deaths yesterday alone than New Zealand has had since this mayhem started i'm not surprised they arn't interested in our methods.
 

Mag_seven

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Looks New Zealand now wants to become a completely closed society never going back to normal so it can attempt to have 0 deaths from COVID for ever more.
 

RPI

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Well considering the UK had more covid deaths yesterday alone than New Zealand has had since this mayhem started i'm not surprised they arn't interested in our methods.
But New Zealand also has a population of under 5 million, the UK has 66 million and the population density, particularly in England doesn't even compare, like comparing chalk and cheese
 

yorksrob

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Well, eventually New Zealand will be directed by nature to make an 'informed choice' to live with it whatever their epidemiologists say.

I'm guessing they will have vaccinated everyone by then though.
 

Bantamzen

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Well i'm sure they are looking for the way out though they won't find it here.

By not "finding it here" I presume you mean they don't want to live the virus, and therefore don't want to get back to normal until virus is gone? If so, you might want to read up on how many viruses human science has eradicated.

(Spoiler, its 2)
 

Dent

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If so, you might want to read up on how many viruses human science has eradicated.

(Spoiler, its 2)

I suggest you also look at how long it took to eradicate these human viruses.

(spoiler, its far longer than current measures could possibly be sustainable for, longer even than anyone's lifetime)
 

Bantamzen

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I suggest you also look at how long it took to eradicate these human viruses.

(spoiler, its far longer than current measures could possibly be sustainable for, longer even than anyone's lifetime)

Oh I totally agree, smallpox was around 200 years if I recall correctly. I can't remember the other virus off the top of my head.
 

Ediswan

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By not "finding it here" I presume you mean they don't want to live the virus, and therefore don't want to get back to normal until virus is gone? If so, you might want to read up on how many viruses human science has eradicated.

(Spoiler, its 2)
Got to be careful here (which you were). Only one human virus has been eradicted. The other was Rindepest, which affected ruminants.
 

yorkie

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Well i'm sure they are looking for the way out though they won't find it here.
They absolutely will.

Coronaviruses, rhinoviruses and influenza viruses cannot be eliminated. We live with them by building up immunity. We have excellent vaccines which, in addition to naturally squired immunity, will massively speed up the process of living with Sars-CoV-2, which is rapidly becoming the 5th endemic human Coronavirus.

There is no viable alternative.

Absolutely. I wonder if anyone on these forums who were in the "Australia got it right" camp would like to comment?
Video shows Kryten from Red Dwarf saying: "Ah, smug mode"

Looks like the Sydney lockdown will rumble on:
It'll keep rumbling on as they won't want to change course now.

Jacinda seems to be sticking her head in the sand. It would seem their exit strategy is simply "no"
She will have to change her mind eventually; they cannot close their borders forever. (Not that it bothers me if they do; I've no plans to visit NZ; I've heard it's a very authoritarian society)
 
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Pakenhamtrain

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They absolutely will.

Coronaviruses, rhinoviruses and influenza viruses cannot be eliminated. We live with them by building up immunity. We have excellent vaccines which, in addition to naturally squired immunity, will massively speed up the process of living with Sars-CoV-2, which is rapidly becoming the 5th endemic human Coronavirus.

There is no viable alternative.


Video shows Kryten from Red Dwarf saying: "Ah, smug mode"


It'll keep rumbling on as they won't want to change course now.
Sydney won't change course because they've making the same mistakes Victoria made last year by the book. Just this time around with vaccines. They're learning the hard way.

You can tell Victoria is about to slam the border shut with NSW with thier language today.

 

LAX54

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Well considering the UK had more covid deaths yesterday alone than New Zealand has had since this mayhem started i'm not surprised they arn't interested in our methods.
But 4 million live in all of NZ, yet London alone has 8 million, so if they had EU style deaths, then NZ would be no more, an uninhabited Island(s)
 

johnnychips

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But 4 million live in all of NZ, yet London alone has 8 million, so if they had EU style deaths, then NZ would be no more, an uninhabited Island(s)
The fatality rate in London is 208 per 100 000. (Wikipedia). So if you extrapolate that to NZ you would have, crudely, 8320 deaths.
 

kristiang85

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The fatality rate in London is 208 per 100 000. (Wikipedia). So if you extrapolate that to NZ you would have, crudely, 8320 deaths.

Probably even less given New Zealand generally has less population density than London. Maybe somewhere like Yorkshire would be a better comparison?
 

TravelDream

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Probably even less given New Zealand generally has less population density than London. Maybe somewhere like Yorkshire would be a better comparison?

Dense, urban London is definitely a poor comparison. Yorkshire is better.

However, it would be less than that again.

My understanding is they are very close to vaccinating all those over 65 and who are clinically vulnerable who want to be vaccinated with their first dose.
 

brad465

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Australia has recorded its first covid-related death this year, and if current trends continue, I doubt it'll be the last:


Australia has reported its first locally contracted coronavirus death this year.
The authorities said a woman, in her 90s, died in Sydney. She had contracted the virus in a family setting.
New South Wales reported 77 new cases on Sunday. There are now 52 people in hospital, with 15 in intensive care.
Sydney is currently in lockdown, as Australia's largest city fights to contain the highly transmissible Delta strain of the virus.
The reported death is the state's 57th and the first in 10 months.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned that the number of new daily infections would rise further on Monday.
"I'll be shocked if it's less than 100," she said at a briefing on Sunday.
She said she feared that "tomorrow and the few days afterwards will be worse, much worse than we've seen today".

Australia has recorded 911 deaths and more than 31,000 cases since the pandemic began.
 

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