Compulsory quarantine for Covid carriers

People queuing for hours for a free test to find out if they are infected with the Covid-19 virus may have a shock coming if they test positive. A stay at a quarantine facility of the government’s choice for them and their family.

On Thursday 13 August 2020, the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said all cases of Covid-19 are to be managed in a quarantine facility.

A Ministry of Health statement says: “This is different to how positive cases were managed when we were last at level 4 and 3 and shows how serious we are about limiting any risk of ongoing transmission, even in self isolation.

“This [quarantine] will apply to any cases and also [to] close family members who might be at risk as appropriate.

“These facilities have been set up specifically, and have excellent processes and resources in place to look after people, including health staff on site at all times.”

So far in New Zealand, of the 22 deaths widely reported to have been related to Covid-19, official documents show 17 subsequently tested positive for the virus.

Based on an estimated population of five million (5,000,000) people, it could be said that the chances of dying while being treated for a Covid-19 infection is 0.00034%. Only a coroner can determine the official cause of death. Or if we consider the 1500 people known to have tested positive Covid-19 in New Zealand, the fatality rate is 0.0113%.

As of 12 August 2020, government laboratories have processed 6,006 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to 508,711. Its testing rate is 88 people for every 1000 – less than 10%.

Of the 434,799 Covid-19 tests carried out by DHBs, 0.3% were deemed positive for the virus. That’s essentially two people (1.3 people to be precise).


Steve Hart is a writer and podcaster.