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Government 'did the right thing' raising Covid-19 alert levels amid Auckland cases — National

National’s Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says it’s too early to tell whether Alert Level 3 in Auckland should be lifted early tonight or extended past midnight tomorrow.

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Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says Covid-19 can’t be let into the community. Source: 1 NEWS

“In the absence of any other information … the genomic and the serology testing, the Government did the right thing,” Bishop said of the alert level increase.

“The reality is we had a case in the community where someone contracted Covid-19. We didn’t know where it had come from. We still don’t know where it’s come from.

“And of course, it’s that highly-transmissible [variant] from the United Kingdom. The last thing we’d want to have happen is for that to get into the community.”

He said he wanted to see further public health advice and data before making a decision about what he thought the Government should do.

With the Director-General of Health saying health officials were open to the idea the student may have contracted Covid-19 first, rather than her mother who worked at an airport laundry and catering service, Bishop said this “raises whole other issues” if confirmed.

“We just don’t know enough and we do need to know more before we start making those decisions.”

Ideally, the source of the infection and how transmission occurred should be found before any decision was made, Bishop said.

National has previously signalled it would give credit where it felt it was "due", or otherwise provide criticism.

On Sunday, leader Judith Collins said in a statement the country "cannot afford any more lockdowns" and "we should be taking every precaution".

“If this proves to be another border failure that is unacceptable. The Government’s shortcomings in the area have been shown up time and time again," she said.

"The Roche/Simpson report was commissioned for this very reason. Our border should be rock-solid by now.

“The Government was warned. They no longer have any excuses for failure.”

Bloomfield told Breakfast the mother and daughter of the family that contracted the virus seem to have been infected at the same time.

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He told Breakfast the daughter had experienced the onset of symptoms before her mother, who works at an airport laundry and catering service. Source: Breakfast

“But, the daughter is reporting a slightly earlier onset of symptoms,” he said.

“The question is: If the daughter was the first one infected, how did she get infected and are there other chains of transmission out there in the community that we’re not aware of?

“We’ve had no signal of that yet but that’s what we need to rule out.”

The Government said it would review the country's alert level settings every 24 hours to tomorrow as new information comes in.

Bloomfield and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins are slated to give the next update, during a press conference scheduled for 1pm. It will air live on TVNZ1 and online at 1news.co.nz.