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The Government needs to be doing more to address the risk of coronavirus in our vulnerable elderly communities, National’s Seniors spokesperson Tim Macindoe says.

“Both the New Zealand Aged Care Association (NZACA) and Retirement Villages Association (RVA) have said they are frustrated at the lack of responsiveness from Government and District Health Boards to their requests for urgent meetings around a coordinated response to Covid-19.

“Elderly New Zealanders are most at risk from coronavirus spreading, especially those in aged-care facilities and retirement villages.

“It’s critically important that those who represent the interests of our senior citizens are fully briefed and able to ensure that accurate, reliable information is quickly distributed to all such facilities throughout New Zealand, and appropriate steps are taken to protect the residents, staff and visitors from the risk of infection.

“For those who have responsibility to provide that information and leadership not to respond to the requests of the NZACA and the RVA is unacceptable, and further evidence of this Government’s woeful failure to provide the support and guidance that is so obviously needed.

“The Prime Minister has described the response to date as ‘textbook’, but she needs to ensure the textbook includes a chapter on protecting our seniors and delivering the nationally co-ordinated response that the New Zealand Aged Care Association and Retirement Villages Association are calling for.”

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