Auckland not ready for easing of restrictions - modeller

Source: 1News

Covid-19 modeller Michael Plank says it’s too soon to lift restrictions in Auckland. 

He says unlinked cases are a big concern and he would like to see case numbers drop before a move to phase two of Alert Level 3.

“Cases are still clearly rising in Auckland and it looks like they could go over 200 a day sometime in the next couple of weeks,” he told Midday.

He’s hoping we will see the effects of the vaccinations kicking in and starting to bring case numbers down.

“Once we get there that could give us a bit of wiggle room to ease restrictions, but we are not quite there yet.”

It comes as Tāmaki Makaurau recorded almost 300 Covid-19 cases over the weekend, with several remaining unlinked.

Cabinet is set to announce any alert level changes today, but Plank, from the University of Canterbury, says with secondary schools back in classrooms, easing restrictions would be too risky.

“We’ve had senior students go back to school in the week and any effect of that on transmission won’t be coming through in the case numbers yet.

“We’ve also got primary schools gong back hopefully in the next couple of weeks and that will add to the potential for community transmission as well.”

He says in order to keep our children safe we need to keep community cases down, “unfortunately that means delaying the move to the next step of the roadmap for another week or two.”

The Ministry of Health is expected to release today’s case numbers at 1pm and Cabinet will announce their decisions at 4pm.