A top microbiologist lashed out at any Auckland residents who thought of fleeing the locked city to bach, saying it was “as a thing to do”.
Siouxsie Wiles said if they really had a genuine reason to leave the city, they needed to take level 3 precautions with them and act as if they could infect them.
Experts have sounded a warning to anyone who has left or plans to leave the city since last night’s Government announcement.
In this morning’s tweet, which has been retweeted hundreds of times, the expert has told Auckland residents to act as if they are on alert level 3, wherever they go next, as they may already be incubating the virus.
“Hey, all of you Auckland citizens leaving the city at night to spend the week in your bach … You better take level 3 with you,” he wrote on Twitter.
“You do realize that this is the thing to do? If you are incubating the virus you run the risk of spreading it outside of Auckland.”
According to microbiologists, people must comply with the level 3 rule if they have left Auckland, regardless of whether they show symptoms of Covid-19 or not.
“I know you all feel fine and don’t think you have the virus, but that’s how everyone incubating Covid-19 starts,” he warned.
“You can start a chain of transmission and potentially in places with much less health care capacity than Auckland.”
Speaking to the Herald, Wiles said the advice to take a level of caution applies to Auckland residents who have fled to their out-of-town bach as well as anyone who has visited Auckland and is now leaving the city to return home.
“There must be people with a valid reason to leave,” he said, referring to visitors who needed to return home elsewhere in the country.
“But since they have been in Auckland for the past week, it is advisable for them to behave as if they are at level 3.”
“There are also anecdotal reports of people leaving Auckland who shouldn’t have left, perhaps because they would have preferred to spend the week in a more comfortable place. Those people shouldn’t have done that, for starters, regardless of whether they left now or go after it. Announcement [last night], “he added.
“People shouldn’t go to their bach. It’s not in the spirit to move to the alert level.”
“These people need to be aware that they might be contagious” and, therefore, the expert warned that they should behave as if they were on alert level 3, wherever they are.
It is also important for people leaving Auckland to remember that they may be in an area with lower health care capacity than Auckland.
Wiles said the Government’s decision to move the alert level was “the absolutely right thing to do” given the new case and explained that the time difference between the press conference at 9 p.m. on Saturday and the alert level starting at 6 a.m. on Sunday. only then the legal process can be enforced.
“That doesn’t mean people have a few hours to do what they want,” he added.
Auckland is now on level 3 alert, for a minimum period of seven days. The rest of New Zealand is on alert level 2.