10:55 a.m. – The SPCA urges pet owners to take extra precautions when using or disposing of used COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) as some may contain a substance that may be toxic to pets. animals.
The warning comes after Australia’s Animal Poison Helpline saw a spike in calls from concerned pet owners whose animals, particularly dogs, had ingested the substance.
Some RATs contain the chemical sodium azide, which is added as a preservative. Although sodium azide is highly toxic, each test contains a very small amount. Although the tests pose no real risk to humans, small animals or pets that ingest the contents of multiple tests are at greater risk.
As RATs are just beginning to be used more widely in New Zealand, the SPCA is asking pet owners not to leave the tests where their pets could reach them.
“Many pet owners will know how easy it is for our pets to get into things they’re not supposed to, which is why it’s important for us to make sure we get rid of those things. appropriately and responsibly,” says SPCA chief scientist Dr. Alison Vaughan.
“Sodium azide is toxic and small animals, or those ingesting multiple tests, could be at risk of poisoning. Although sodium azide probably only causes mild, self-limiting symptoms such as hypotension (low blood pressure) in large dogs, small animals may experience more severe symptoms.”
Anyone concerned that their pet has accidentally swallowed or chewed one of these bottles should contact their vet or the Pet Poison Helpline (0800 869 738) immediately.
10:50 a.m. – A leading epidemiologist says that two years after New Zealand recorded its first case of COVID-19, we still have one of the best responses in the world.
It comes after the Department of Health announced a record 14,941 new community cases of COVID and 305 people hospitalized on Sunday.
New Zealand also currently has one of the highest R-values in the world, according to a COVID-19 modeler.
New Zealand has an R-value of 3.74 on Sunday morning, according to Rako Science, which means one person who tests positive for COVID-19 will on average pass it on to more than three people.
Out of more than 180 countries, New Zealand currently has the highest R-value, followed by Myanmar with a value of 3.19.
Two years ago to the day, the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in New Zealand, in a recent returnee.
Epidemiologist Michael Baker said despite six people dying from COVID-19 in the past three days, New Zealand still has the lowest coronavirus death rate in the OECD by a wide margin.
“The pandemic is now thought to have killed around 20 million people worldwide,” Baker told RNZ.
“And they’re mostly in countries where obviously they’ve had limited resources, or they’ve had very poor leadership from governments.
“It’s interesting to see that in a place like Russia, the pandemic has now killed almost 0.8% of the total population.”
Baker told RNZ that by delaying Omicron’s arrival in New Zealand, we were able to encounter the virus with “lots of antibodies”.
“By delaying the arrival of the Omicron variant, it gave us a good opportunity to be highly vaccinated and boosted,” he said.
“And also we have what is called peak immunity, because we had our vaccine doses and our boosters very recently and that means we are ready to face this virus with a lot of antibodies.
10:20 a.m. – The ACT calls on the government to scrap isolation rules and open borders to all.
ACT party leader David Seymour said the rules are “ineffective” and “it’s time to reconnect with the rest of the world”.
Here is the full statement:
“By keeping the isolation and MIQ rules in place for people entering New Zealand, we are reducing the number of cases by less than 0.2%,” says ACT chief David Seymour.
“If 10,000 people arrived in New Zealand tomorrow, they would add 0.2% to New Zealand’s population. If they had as much COVID as New Zealand, they would add 0.2% to daily cases. they must return a negative test before flying, almost none of them will have COVID.We are now keeping the borders closed to reduce our daily case count by a fraction of 0.2%.
“We have over 67,000 active cases in the community and only a handful a day at the border. Meanwhile, families are separated, businesses are in desperate need of staff, and our tourism industry is collapsing.
“The rules for someone entering New Zealand should be the same as the rules for everyone else – not just Kiwis in Australia. It’s time to reconnect with the rest of the world.
“The Prime Minister needs to explain why Kiwis in Australia are biologically different from Kiwis in, say, California. Why are Australians in Australia biologically different from Kiwis in Australia? Why are we making these strange distinctions?
“With 67,000 active cases in the community, the rest of the world will look at New Zealand and wonder why we are excluding them.
“Even Ashley Bloomfield and the Department of Health now agree that the risk at the border is lower than the risk in the community.
“ACT believes it is time to step out of fear and take back control of our lives despite endless government restrictions.
“We shouldn’t keep rules that are ineffective and costly because they make us feel comfortable. If the rules aren’t helpful, they should go, and it should be up to the government that imposes them on us to explain why they should. stay. It’s time to stop the fear and control. It’s time to move on.