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China-based Kiwi compares Chinese coronavirus reaction to NZ

As measures tighten in New Zealand, China seems to be coming through its coronavirus crisis.

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Kiwi Andy Boreham is back in China, which seems to be coming through coronavirus, and compares the Chinese measures to those in New Zealand. Source: Seven Sharp

Shanghai-based Kiwi Andy Boreham has been in both countries during the last few days and is uniquely placed to see the responses of both nations.

Shoppers are returning to the malls, Hong Kong Airport is packed, and the doctors are leaving Wuhan - the original ground zero of coronavirus.

Mr Boreham says flying back to China from New Zealand, via Japan, he wasn’t a fan of New Zealand’s approach to coronavirus.

“The thing that freaked me out was just the typical Kiwi attitude which is you know, she'll be right, I guess that would sum it up,” he said.

“Cause I really don't think she will be right in terms of the situation. It's a really serious situation and it requires, I think, really really strong measures, and really a lot of action to sort it out, and I just feel like currently in New Zealand that's not the attitude that's being taken.”

He said he’s in uncertain circumstances in China.

“At the moment I'm in a small community health clinic in my district, which is one of sixteen districts in Shanghai, that is because I have to do a home quarantine, but first, because I flew through Japan yesterday, I have to be tested for novel coronavirus, which is interesting,” said Mr Boreham.

His experience of Covid-19 responses in Shanghai is very different to responses in New Zealand. 

He had to fly from Auckland to Blenheim for a technical quarantine, and the Ministry of Health suggested having an aisle to himself. But he said the airline was quite blase about it.

“As soon as I got to Japan, all the Air New Zealand crew were saying goodbye at the door of the plane, no mask. No nothing,” he said.

“And as soon as you stepped one step further to what I would like to call reality, everyone was decked out with masks and goggles, gloves and everything, so it was like going from black to white.”

The problem of the Covid-19 reaction is political, in his view.

“New Zealand's type of Government, liberal democracy, it doesn't really bode well with strong measures,” he said.

"For me in the West they're talking about herd immunity, and letting everyone catch the virus, which is unheard of in China, they would never even imagine that but that's because of two different systems of Government.”