Described as "missing in action," Health Minister David Clark has come under fire by the National Party who are criticising the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
National Party health spokesperson, Michael Woodhouse says the public, along with health professionals, are concerned over the kind of information being provided at New Zealand's border.
“It’s not just criticism from me, we are hearing from passengers arriving at international airports that there is not enough being done to screen them at the border… the information that they’re handing out is generic and six-years-old.’
Mr Woodhouse says panic buying and the shortage of health supplies like face masks have been a flow on effect of the Government’s approach to the outbreak.
“I think some of the things that you’re seeing around panic buying and concerns with masks and other protective equipment by health professionals is directly related to a lack of an energetic response by the Government.’
He believes the Government needs to be more proactive with sharing information after the confirmation of New Zealand’s third case of coronavirus took hours until any further details were provided.
Michael Woodhouse says that despite reassurance from Health Minster David Clark, no further flexibility has been provided for testing potential cases.
“If he wants to provide the public with reassurance, he needs to be in much closer sync with his director general and much more proactive in getting news out on what they’re doing and what’s happening”
Mr Woodhouse believes that a lack of "energy" and "scope" are responsible for what he says is limited information being provided to the public.
Earlier this week Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Health Minister defended the coronavirus screening process at New Zealand airports.
“Every single international traveller coming into New Zealand will this week be hearing an audio message over the plane announcing the requirements when you’re in New Zealand,” Ms Ardern told TVNZ1's Breakfast.