November 03, 2021
Muriwhenua in lockdown after unlinked cases found
The organiser of Te Taitokerau COVID checkpoints is offering support to a couple whose infection with COVID-19 threw Northland back into level 3 conditions.
The lockdown went into force at midnight after health authorities were unable to find an epidemiological link between cases in Taipa and any other northern case, suggesting an undetected link in the chain of transmission.
Hone Harawira says tighter restrictions earlier may have stopped the risk of transmission at last week’s He Whakaputanga hui that was gate crashed by anti-vaxers, but now COVID is in the region they have to look after any affected whānau.
“Whether we know them personally or not, our view is they are part of us and the more comfortable we can make them in the space they are in, the more likely it is they will stay home over the next two weeks. The more we can communicate, the more we can make them understand this isn’t about pointing the bone at them, this is about all the community working together and making sure we all come out of it safer and healthier,” he says.
The restrictions will stay on until at least Monday night, with the border dividing the Hokianga Harbour and running across country to Kaeo.
Immunologist Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu from the University of Otago says the outbreak highlights the need for vaccination targets for Māori and Pacific communities.
Vaccination rates in Northland sit at 65 per cent for double vaccinations, 10 percentage points behind the national average, and 79 per cent for first doses.
She says DHBs will need to ensure at least 90 to 95 per cent full vaccinations for Māori and Pacific peoples to ensure no-one is left behind.