August 19, 2020
Border defence takes top priority
The Government is to deploy 500 extra Defence Force personnel into COVID-19 quarantine facilities.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there will now be 19 Defence Force personnel in each isolation facility.
The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment is also looking at directly employing security guards, who will receive a living wage.
Five new cases of COVID 19 related to the Auckland cluster were confirmed today, and there is one imported case, a woman in her 50s who arrived on 14 August and has been in the Sudima Hotel.
Ms Ardern says there are no additional cases related to the Rydges Hotel maintenance worker who tested positive for COVID-19.
There were 23,038 tests processed yesterday and 136,000 tests conducted over the past week.
She says the perimeter of the virus is not expanding exponentially, but border testing has not been executed at the scale and speed necessary.
A small team including public policy specialist Sir Brian Roche will support the Ministry of Health to implement a comprehensive testing strategy.
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