Jan 20 • 12M

Dawn Chorus: The unanswered omicron questions

How do we get our one RAT per person? Do essential workers have to self-isolate too? Can we really still open the border on March 1 if we’re in the middle of a raging pandemic?

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Bernard Hickey
Bernard Hickey and friends explore the political economy together.
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TLDR & TLDL: We now know Aotearoa-NZ will go back into ‘red’ once omicron is spreading in the community and that widespread lockdowns won’t be used again, but we don’t know yet whether essential workers will be able to keep working if they become a close contact (and be able to test themselves), whether the border will be reopened from March 1, and how our insufficient number of rapid antigen tests will be rationed. See more on the holes in our omicron plan below the paywall fold.

Omicron is coming but we are not ready. Our experience may mirror Australia’s, with the testing system quickly overwhelmed with long queues at PCR testing stations and chaos over the supply and use of RATs. File photo: Lynn Grieveson

Elsewhere in the news this morning;

  • Auckland’s hospitals are bracing for a peak of 190 Covid patients in hospital on any day in an omicron outbreak with 1,800 cases a day (RNZ, Stuff);

  • US stocks bounced 1-2% this morning on strong profit results and bargain hunting for tech stocks in the wake of this year’s 10% fall into correction territory (Reuters);

  • the Kaiarahi Interislander ferry was catastrophically damaged when its gearbox failed last year (NZ Herald); and,

  • three transitional housing motels in Rotorua are in lockdown after Covid outbreaks (NZ Herald-$$$)

FYI for paid subscribers, I’m resuming the Ask Me Anything thread for an hour at midday today and I’ll be back with Peter Bale for a hoon at 4pm today. I’ll send the links direct to paid subscribers shortly before we start.

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