'Doesn't add up' - National questions why Dr Bloomfield warned community transmission 'matter of when, not if'

National MP Gerry Brownlee has questioned why Dr Ashley Bloomfield today stated it's inevitable there will be further cases of Covid-19 community transmission in New Zealand.

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Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said today it’s not a matter of if, but when. Source: 1 NEWS

Dr Ashley Bloomfield told RNZ's Morning Report "it's a matter of when, not if" New Zealand gets community transmission again.

"We're working on the basis that it could be at anytime ... We have to be absolutely on our toes, and that's not just the health system, that's not just the contact tracing and testing system. It's everybody.

"That's the value and the importance of people getting into the habit of using the app, getting ready, and recording where they've been."


This evening National’s Covid-19 border response spokesperson, Mr Brownlee, voiced his concern at Dr Bloomfield's comments.

“The Government needs to come clean on what they know about the state of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

“We have had three months of no community transmission, then inexplicably, the Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield tells the nation today that a second wave was a likely prospect.

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The Director-General of Health says unchecked community transmission could see NZ end up like Australia. Source: 1 NEWS

“As well, Health Minister Chris Hipkins tells the House in question time that tomorrow he will tell Kiwis the conditions in which they will be expected to wear masks in the event of the country moving back into Level 2.

“It doesn’t add up. Why announce this now when there are few cases? What do these guys know that they are not telling us?

“New Zealanders have already sacrificed a lot during this pandemic. The least they deserve is more honest, transparent treatment,” Mr Brownlee concluded.

'A matter of when, not if' - Dr Ashley Bloomfield warns Covid-19 community transmission in NZ inevitable

In his interview this morning, Dr Bloomfield said a case of community transmission wouldn't necessarily mean a move up in the alert level system.

"The key thing is finding a case as quickly as possible before it has a chance to spread too far in the community."

It has been 96 days since the last case of Covid-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source.