Increasing mistakes compromise coronavirus safety

This incompetent Government’s poor management of coronavirus isolation facilities is continuing to put New Zealanders at risk, National’s Health spokesperson Shane Reti says.

It has been revealed that nurses at Auckland hospitals have been working shifts at managed quarantine facilities, as well as working in their hospital’s emergency departments (EDs).

Nurses at Wellington Hospital have also been working in managed isolation facilities, and it is reported that approximately one quarter of the theatre staff are on sick leave and awaiting Covid-19 tests. This is leading to significant delays in acute surgeries.

“There are three things we know this week that shows the Government cannot deliver safe border management:

  1. Day 3 testing of arrivals in isolation is not mandatory
  2. Staff at managed isolation facilities do not have to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  3. Nurses are double-shifting between isolation facilities and DHBs

“This is an appalling state of affairs and these issues need to be fixed immediately.

“A National Government, at a minimum, would not allow nurses to moonlight at coronavirus isolation facilities when they are also working in high-risk areas like EDs and operating theatres.

“We would also implement compulsory PPE for staff in isolation facilities and make sure the testing requirements at Day 3 and Day 12 are actually being met.

“New Zealand is in the midst of a crisis with hundreds of thousands out of work and our economy in decline. Labour is risking New Zealander’s health, and our country’s economic recovery in the process.”