TODAY |

'Insanity' - Medical expert slams Government's recent contact tracing efforts

New Zealand now at the end of day 4 of heightened Covid-19 restrictions — including lockdown in Auckland — with no new cases.

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Some have been questioning the decision to once again shut Auckland down. Source: Seven Sharp

While the nation holds its breath to see if we can go down alert levels, concerns are being raised by one expert about whether our contact tracing is good enough to warrant it.

University of Auckland faculty of medicine professor Des Gorman appeared on Seven Sharp to give his evaluation of recent contact tracing efforts.

“Our contact tracing still isn’t good enough and it hasn’t improved since last July," he said. 

He argued the Government’s approach to contact tracing needs to be more “aggressive.”

“We heard the Prime Minister the other day say they tried to contact someone 15 times by telephone and text. Well Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

“If you phone someone a couple of times and they don’t respond you need someone knocking on the door. That’s the way other countries have done it that have a very aggressive contact tracing response.

“To ring or text someone 15 times is like flogging a dead horse.”

Gorman also thinks while the vaccine rollout will help, it won’t be a “silver bullet” as variants mean the virus will continue to be a global issue.

This afternoon, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield was asked if contact tracers could have been more aggressive by door knocking with the Auckland family connected to Papatoetoe High School who couldn't be communicated with.

"We are always looking at what we could have done differently," Bloomfield responded.