March 02, 2021
Language gap blurs Covid warning
A South Auckland councillor says Auckland's latest lockdown could have been prevented if health officials had thought more about how to engage with the region's culturally diverse population.
Fa'anana Efeso Collins says there is a disconnect between the information put out by the bureaucrats through the 1pm press conferences and what gets through to the community.
He says they shouldn't have waited a week to start doorknocking people connected with Papatoetoe High School who couldn't be reached, and they should have enlisted community groups to help.
He says many households in the area don't speak English as a first language.
"We've got to get people speaking our languages, We've got to get people in Punjabi, Hindi, Samoan, Tongan, the reo. All of these languages have to be spoken because just saying to someone 'go consult this part of the website, we'll flick you a link,' that is not going to get to the generation of our parents who predominantly speak Samoan or Tongan as their first language,"
There were no new community cases of COVID-19 reported today, but director general of health Ashley Bloomfield says we’re not out of the woods for the latest outbreak.
Almost 9000 tests were processed yesterday, and testing stations were expected to continue to be busy today and tomorrow dealing with people who are symptomatic or who had been at one of the exposure sites including KFC Botany and MIT’s Manukau campus.
He says the most important thing Aucklanders can do to stop the spread of the more infectious UK variant is to stay home as much as possible.
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