Dr Siouxsie Wiles offers advice for attending NZ Black Lives Matter rallies amid Covid-19

Source: 1News

Dr Siouxsie Wiles is offering some advice for people wanting to attend local Black Lives Matter marches this afternoon while precautions are in place for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Auckland University’s Dr Siouxsie Wiles says it could be “devastating” if the virus spreads to the Pacific Islands.

Black Lives Matter protests are planned at various times today in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Kiwis are joining the growing list of people around the globe marching in solidarity of the George Floyd protests across the US.

“Please remember that coming together in large numbers and talking loudly/shouting/singing are a perfect combination for allowing Covid-19 to spread,” she said on Twitter.

Dr Wiles said people who felt “even slightly unwell” shouldn’t attend.

“Covid-19 symptoms can be very mild,” she said.

“Also, remember that people are infectious before they show any symptoms, so please cover your mouth and nose with something.”

Alert Level 2 guidelines restrict gatherings to 100 people at a time.

A police spokesperson told 1 NEWS they were aware of the events planned today.

"We are looking to speak with organisers to remind them of the guidelines for holding gatherings under Alert Level 2 restrictions," the spokesperson said.

Ministry of Health figures released today said there is one active case remaining in Auckland, however it's understood they are in isolation.

The marches today intend to call on the New Zealand Government to "publically condemn the acts of violence and state-sanction murder against African Americans in the United States."

The march is also intended to draw attention to the controversial discussion surrounding New Zealand police's ability to carry guns. As a result of the Christchurch terror attacks, a six-month trial of full-time armed police units were launched in October in Counties Manukau, Waikato and Canterbury.

Protestors are being encouraged to wear masks and gloves as well as adhere to social distancing measures to prevent any risk of Covid-19.