Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Epidemiologist says vaccination the future to living with the virus

Asia's Tech News Daily

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Epidemiologist says vaccination the future to living with the virus

As the country prepares to enter the new traffic light system, Epidemiologist Michael Baker said it sends the message that vaccination is the way forward.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today confirmed the country would move to the new Covid-19 Protection Framework from 11.59pm on Thursday, doing away with the alert level settings that have become part of daily life since March last year.

The new framework is based around high vaccination rates enabling living with Covid-19 in the community, with three levels of restrictions based on the risk posed – green, orange and red.

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Epidemiologist says vaccination the future to living with the virus

Michael Baker is an epidemiologist and public health physician with the University of Otago. Photo / Supplied

Moving straight to red will be Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki District, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu District.

Auckland, as centre of the current outbreak, had been signalled as going to red.

But Baker believes the country will never return to pre-pandemic times.

“We just have to change our way of operating, get vaccinated, wear masks indoors and maintain some distancing.”

Ardern said festival organisers in areas under the red regime will have to decide whether to go ahead or not.

“Ultimately, I can’t make a commercial decision.”

Major summer festivals in the red setting include Rhythm ‘n Vines.

With music festivals and large gatherings just around the corner, Baker said they pose issues especially in areas that will be placed into the red zone.

“I don’t think the government wanted to have those festivals in that uncertain position but that’s the way it has happened,” he said.

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Epidemiologist says vaccination the future to living with the virus

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