21 July 2020
An Oxford professor has criticised New Zealand’s Covid-19 strategy ahead of an international symposium on New Zealand’s policy options to be held in Parliament in August.
Professor Carl Heneghan from the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine said in an interview on the weekend that “If you follow the New Zealand policy of suppressing it to zero and locking down the country forever, then you’re going to have a problem… This virus is so out there now, I cannot see a strategy that makes suppression the viable option. The strategy right now should be how we learn to live with this virus”
Simon Thornley, of the Covid Plan B Group, has today announced plans to hold an international symposium on New Zealand’s policy options at Parliament on 17 August.
The COVID-19 Science and Policy Symposium will feature at least five internationally respected academics and scientists analysing the latest information of COVID-19 to offer possible pathways for New Zealand’s recovery, along with New Zealand-based experts.
Thornley says experts were keen to present at the symposium because New Zealand is receiving global attention for its handling of the pandemic and the situation it is now in.
“New Zealand’s approach is a hot topic internationally – experts are keen to discuss our unique position. Our low infection and death rate has created a difficult decision on when and how we open back up to the world.
“The risks and impacts of the virus are now becoming much clearer and more certain. This information is vital to New Zealand’s decision-making, but we’re not getting the full picture.”
The international speakers will join by video link, giving presentations on the latest data, and open to discussion and questions from the public.
Those confirmed include Dr David Katz, founder of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Centre and who worked at the front line of New York hospitals dealing with patients, and viral immunologist Dr Byram Bridle who is part of a team commissioned by the Canadian Government to develop a vaccine.
The COVID-19 Science and Policy Symposium will be held in Parliament’s Banquet Hall on Monday 17 August. Interested parties can register for free tickets here.
To find out more information about presenters at this event, please visit here.