Covid 19 coronavirus: Pause on Sydney travel bubble ‘right thing to do’ – Dr Ashley Bloomfield

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says a decision to pause a travel bubble with Sydney was necessary after two positive Covid cases were confirmed.

Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking asked him this morning whether authorities here were “trigger-happy” after making the snap decision yesterday.

“I don’t think we’re being trigger-happy at all. We think, on balance, it was the right thing to do.”

He said he and other health officials had put a lot of thought into pausing the New South Wales quarantine-free travel bubble before it was announced publicly.

The pause for the next 48 hours was put in place so authorities can watch to see what further results come out of Sydney.

Bloomfield also touched on the ongoing vaccination roll-out.

Put to him that some people reporting long delays and other issues at some vaccination clinics, he said: “It’s never going to go perfectly at vaccination sites around the country.

“For some people, they didn’t get the service that we hope they’d get.”

Despite those issues, he said the fact that 14,000 people in New Zealand received a Covid-19 vaccination yesterday alone was encouraging.

He said that was the “biggest day ever” in terms of the number of people who were vaccinated.

New Zealand is thought to be behind in rolling out its vaccination programme – in comparison to other countries.

Asked whether he felt that was an issue, Bloomfield said: “I don’t think it’s a fundamental problem at all. People are enthusiastic about getting vaccinated – that’s great.”

We were still on par with countries including Australia and ahead of the likes of Taiwan.

“I don’t think we’ve got problems…it’s going well,” he said.

On the issue of the Ministry of Health not knowing exactly how many border workers remained unvaccinated, he acknowledged that they were working more closely with employers to ensure everyone was keeping an up-to-date record and register of those staff who had been vaccinated and those who had not yet been.

That data would allow health officials to follow up various people if and when they needed to.

“I think that’s a huge improvement,” Bloomfield said.

The work to carry on the Covid elimination process in New Zealand will continue for months ahead.

Bloomfield said from July onwards, they would be administering up to 50,000 vaccine doses a day.

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