5 June 2020
The Covid-19 Plan B group has dismissed as “scaremongering” a claim that an 8% chance of a Covid-19 outbreak under Level 1 means New Zealand should continue in level 2, and restrict large gatherings, based on the risk of spread they pose.
Epidemiologist and Covid-19 Plan B spokesperson Simon Thornley says; “The team that incorrectly forecast 80,000 Covid-19 deaths in New Zealand are back, now claiming that moving down to Level 1 will increase the risk of a large outbreak from 3 to 8 per cent.
“The Plan B group want to underscore that the chance of large outbreaks is low, since the latest evidence, from both immunology studies overseas, and epicurves in many countries strongly suggests that population immunity is high.
“Countries such as China, Taiwan, Switzerland, Slovenia and ourselves that have now recovered from the epidemic have experienced low levels of new cases for several weeks. Slovenia has even opened its borders to travelers from other European Union nations, without the requirement for quarantine.
This is also supported by recent data from Japan, which went lower than New Zealand’s level 2 over 12 days ago. The much more densely populated country than New Zealand has not seen spikes in cases.
“Evidence is becoming clearer that enforcing harsh social distancing measures have little to no effect. The Matatini group seem to have ignored these studies, and simply assumed that distancing works.”
Thornley points out that the 8% risk is small compared to all the costs of lockdown that are now apparent, such as deferred health treatment, unemployment, business collapses and public debt.
“The priority now should be to flatten the severe economic recession that is imminent, and return the majority of our country to normal life, while doing our best to protect the vulnerable.”
Contact: Simon Thornley, mob: 0212991752