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Mad Scientist
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#265423 21-Jan-2020 08:50
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If you are looking for information on Coronavirus, COVID-19 please read this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every few years, a new type of coronavirus that normally doesn't infect humans mutates in China and infects humans ... have lost count how many now, but makes me think something fishy is going on there ... or maybe just the sheer population of livestock there mixed with massive population of humans? Anyway, it won't be funny if one day it causes a real pandemic.

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/118920223/humantohuman-transmission-confirmed-in-china-coronavirus

 

 

 

 





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  #2443056 21-Mar-2020 15:27
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Disclosure:

 

  • I am a retired medical professional.
  • I am aged over 70 years - old enough to remember lethal epidemics.
  • My son specialises in COVID-19 public health management in Australia.

As far as I can see, no-one has yet posted in this thread who is currently in voluntary isolation.

 

So here goes:

 

Every single member of my extended family, including myself, located in three different countries (NZ, Australia, UK), is currently in voluntary isolation, indirectly because of COVID-19.

 

Inlaws, children, and grandchildren, age range from 5 to 85 years.

 

None of us are ill or have COVID-19, but some of us have been exposed to it, and currently one of us (a young child in NZ) is being tested for it. (The result will probably be negative)

 

Those of us aged over 70 will probably stay in home isolation for months - we are all fully willing and prepared to do this.

 

The younger adults and children are isolating for two weeks.

 

My son, who leads a COVID-19 team, is working from home in Australia, solely because he recently visited New Zealand. There is a certain irony to this.  😕
His team have been rehearsing for remote working for three months.
He believes that it will be six months before he will be permitted to visit NZ again.

 

The take-home message - COVID-19 deserves to be treated with extreme respect. Remember what happened in Italy.





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  #2443679 22-Mar-2020 13:19
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As discussed on another thread, if you are running Boinc Rosetta@Home (the one I use) or Folding@Home you can join the Geekzone teams:

 





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  #2444735 23-Mar-2020 17:39
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'Essential Businesses' from 'The Site' https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/#essential-businesses



This list will be updated as required, unlike lists from media then posted here.




Keep calm, and carry on posting.

 

 

 

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BDFL - Memuneh
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  #2445478 24-Mar-2020 13:57
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@kobiak:

 

did not government said construction works falls under essential? how builders are going to get all the necessity without bunnings/mite10/placemakers/etc operational?

 

how about online business?

 

 

• Any entity involved in building and construction related to essential services and critical infrastructure

 

• Any entity involved in building and construction required immediately to maintain human health and safety at home or work

 

• Any entity that performs or is involved in building and resource consenting necessary for the above purposes





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  #2445853 24-Mar-2020 22:12
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Press release:

 

 

Media Release: Further guidance on essential services provided

 

Government Ministers met tonight and have provided further guidance on essential services that can continue to operate after midnight tomorrow.

 

MBIE Deputy Chief Executive Paul Stocks said the purpose of escalating New Zealand’s COVID-19 alert level to 4 was to stop the virus in its tracks and reduce contact between people.

 

“That’s why we need as many businesses as possible to close their premises now if our one shot at beating the virus is to be successful,” Mr Stocks said.

 

“Only the businesses absolutely essential to ensure the necessities of life, like supermarkets and pharmacies, can stay open. If in doubt, the business premises should be closed.

 

“So unfortunately the Warehouse needs to close its shops. Leaving them open to the general public creates too high a risk of further spreading the virus.

 

Mr Stocks says “big box” retailers like Bunnings, Placemakers and Mitre 10 can stay open to trade customers for essential purposes only.

 

“These retailers play an important part in the construction supply chain, but they cannot sell goods to the general public.”

 

Businesses that are a critical part of the supply chain for essential services are also able to continue operating, but must do so in a way that is safe.

 

“For example, if you make chemicals that are needed for our waste water plants, then we need you to keep operating at the minimum level required.”

 

In addition, dairies can continue to operate, but must observe strict physical distancing rules for customers.

 

“Dairies provide basic food items like bread and milk to people close to where they live, especially the elderly who may not be able to get to a supermarket. However, they will need to operate a strict ‘one-in one-out’ policy and they won’t be allowed to sell food prepared on the premises.

 

“If any dairy breaks the rules, we will shut it down. If there is evidence of systemic abuse, we will remove them from the essential services list.

 

“Food delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliver Easy pose a risk to human health. We cannot guarantee every kitchen operates strict food preparation controls or that everyone who works in a kitchen is well. Evidence overseas suggests the virus has been spread via poor food hygiene practices, so it’s a real risk we have to eliminate.

 

“For clarity, every restaurant, café and bar must close all aspects of their operation, including delivery.

 

“Delivery of food that is not pre-cooked will be allowed under strict health conditions. Many New Zealanders now receive their food via a delivery company and are in effect no different to a supermarket delivery option.

 

“Most people are able to purchase alcohol at supermarkets. On that basis liquor stores are being treated as other non-essential retail outlets and must close. The only exception to this are Licencing Trust Areas where there is nowhere else to purchase alcohol. These stores must operate a ‘one-in one-out’ policy.

 

“We are doing further work on online ordering of non-food products for home delivery to see if this type of retail can be conducted safely. We will update advice on this once further decisions are made.

 

“COVID-19 alert level 4 is not business as usual and means there will be significant restrictions on what New Zealanders are able to purchase. However, these changes are essential to stop the spread of the virus.

 

“We are ready to change the list if necessary. If we discover there are essential services that have not been made available we will react to that as we go.”

 

Further details on essential services:

 

  • Dairies to stay open, with “one-in one-out” rule
  • Food delivery prohibited, except meals on wheels and delivery of food not pre-cooked
  • Liquor stores closed, unless within a Licensing Trust Area and with “one-in one-out” rule
  • Self-service laundries can stay open, two-metre physical distancing to be enforced
  • Retirement villages included as an essential service
  • The Warehouse to close stores to the public
  • Bunnings, Placemakers, Mitre 10 and other retailers essential to the supply chain for building and construction can stay open to trade customers for essential purposes only
  • The Tiwai Point smelter exempt from closure
  • NZ Steel shut down in a way that allows for production to recommence easily
  • Pulp and paper plants to shut down non-essential elements in a way that allows for production to recommence easily while maintaining essential production
  • Methanex to remain in production, but at a scale consistent with stability of gas supply.





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  #2446526 25-Mar-2020 17:54
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From WCC:

 

 

Mayor Andy Foster says there are two reasons for the halt to collections – both based on health and safety.

 

“First, Wellington City Council’s contractors, like most other employers, have a limited staff roster and so we must ensure they focus first and foremost on collecting rubbish – which is an essential public health service.

 

“Second, our recycling operation involves a high degree of hand sorting of recyclable products, both when going into the trucks (for glass) and at the Oji plant in Seaview. Workers there manually sort recyclables along a series of conveyor belts.

 

“Given we understand the Covid-19 virus can remain active for up to three days on some surfaces like plastic, metal and glass, workers are facing too great a risk.

 

“Different councils run different systems. Some appear to be collecting recycling separate to the rubbish collection, but are nevertheless still landfilling it. In normal conditions our separate recycling processes result in the lowest possible level of contamination, and therefore the highest level of good usable recyclable material. However the Covid-19 threat would make it irresponsible to continue when we move to alert level 4 tonight.

 

“This will be very disappointing for most of us who are avid recyclers, but while alert level 4 continues, we cannot keep the operation going. That leaves the choices of either putting your recycling into your yellow rubbish bags or private waste collection wheelie-bins or, if you don’t want your recyclables to be landfilled, then wash them thoroughly as you always should and safely stockpile them until the recycling service resumes.”

 

Further important points:

 

• The weekly rubbish collection service (rubbish collected in official yellow Wellington City Council bags) is continuing as normal.
• The Southern Landfill is closed to the general public.
• Private-sector wheelie-bin rubbish collections will continue as normal.
• Wellington City Council yellow rubbish bags are available at supermarkets – there is no shortage of stock and bags are being delivered to supermarkets within 48 hours of them being ordered.
• Purchasing, orders and deliveries of recycling bags, wheelie bins and wheelie bin clips, and green crates have ceased for the time-being.

 





 
 
 
 


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  #2446540 25-Mar-2020 18:10
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Press release:

 

 

The Government is supporting New Zealanders to stay in their rental properties with a six month freeze on residential rent increases and increased protection from having their tenancies terminated, says the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods.

 

“These changes will ensure that people can stay in their homes during this challenging time. This enables families and individuals to self-isolate, to stay home and maintain physical distancing, supporting the public health of all New Zealanders.

 

“It also means that in the short term, families and individuals who are tenants do not lose their home due to a drop in income related to job losses through Covid-19.

 

Sustaining tenants in their current homes will help prevent further pressure on our welfare system at this time,” Dr Woods said.

 

Minister Woods is making it clear that tenants have obligations as well.

 

“It is not acceptable for tenants to abuse the current situation by refusing to pay rent when they have the capacity to do so, causing significant property damage, or significant anti-social behaviour. Tenants are still fully liable for their rent payments and any damage as we ensure that Landlords do not increase the burden on tenants.”

 

“The measures we have proposed try to balance protection of the interests of tenants, landlords, and the wider community during this unprecedented time.”

 

“The rent increase freeze will protect tenants from additional financial hardship at a time when they are more likely to already be facing financial stress. Increases in rent are now prohibited under any circumstances, for the period of the legislative amendments. However, tenants still must pay their rent.”

 

“Landlords also need to be aware that breaching rent increase provisions or tenancy termination provisions under these new rules, constitutes an unlawful act, with exemplary damages of up to $6,500 payable in each case,” Megan Woods said.

 

Tenancy termination measures apply for three months, and this may be extended if necessary.

 

Importantly, where a tenant has symptoms of Covid-19, or is confirmed as positive, this is not grounds for a landlord to terminate a tenancy. Nor is a tenant required to notify their landlord if they test positive for Covid-19. However, we encourage tenants to advise the landlord, if the landlord needs to attend the property while the tenant is self-isolating, for example, if the landlord needs to undertake urgent repairs at the property.

 

“In these unprecedented times, we encourage landlords to talk to their tenants, work together and take care of each other wherever possible. Parties should try to come to an arrangement that suits them both. We need to work together and help each other to fight Covid-19,” Megan Woods said.

 

If you need financial assistance or emergency accommodation, you should talk to Work and Income: www.workandincome.govt.nz/providers/housing-providers/emergency-housing/index.html

 

Notes to Editor

 

Rent Increases: there is a freeze on rent increases. Regardless of when notice of a rent increase was provided, no increase is permitted if the effective date is after the date this law comes into effect. 

 

End-of-Tenancy/Evictions: Moving house is unlikely to be considered 'essential' during the lock-down. Fixed-term and periodic tenancies will not end unless specific grounds applying (e.g. the tenant wants the tenancy to end). Tenants cannot be evicted during the lock-down, except in very limited circumstances.

 

Buyers/Sellers: The Law Society is recommending settlement dates are delayed as sellers will be unable to provide vacant possession, and buyers will be unable to move in.

 





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  #2447632 27-Mar-2020 00:41
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CORONAVIRUS NASOPHARYNGEAL SWAB TESTING

 

Ok with the commencement of nation wide testing stations I though I would explain the main testing procedure for specimen collection of the coronavirus.

 

You all would of heard by now about the testing for the coronavirus by someone with a long cotton bud type stick and poking it up your nose. This is called a nasopharyngeal swab. You would have seen photos and videos on the news of this procedure. Some recipients say ‘easy peasy’ and some say ‘bloody awful’ and some say it caused severe trauma to their nose. I personally have only done a handful of these swab tests but I have done a truck load of putting temporary feeding tubes down into the stomach via the nose from babies to adults. The two procedures are the same for the insertion of the object, stick or tube into your nose.

 

Well, like all medical procedures there is a right way and a wrong way.

 

The nasal cavity is not a straight tube from the frontal opening, nares, to the exiting at the top back of your throat. It does a 90 degree turn downwards at the very back of the nose, nasal cavity. This curve at the back is called the nasopharynx and is where we are aiming to get to with the swap without going round the curve. On the way to the back is the nasal cavity which is lined with mucous membranes. It is in this area, mainly towards the back, is where the virus likes to reside. It’s warm and it’s moist. A perfect little place to set up shop.

 

The trouble is if you look at your face and the position of the nose, you would think that you would insert the swap in straight up towards your forehead. You Don’t. Doing that and you will cause trauma and injury. You see the floor of your nose lies approximately parallel to the top of your mouth and the nasal cavity balloons upwards, then sharply narrows downwards at the back.

 

So the most comfortable method for specimen collection is starting with the head in the neutral position and to slightly tip the head back. That way you can get a good look along the floor of the nose towards the back. Now insert the swab horizontally along the floor of the nasal cavity with the swabs stick portion touching the top of the front opening of the nose, the nares. Insert till it is approximately the same distance as it is to the outer opening of your ear. Now withdraw giving the swab a quick rotated twist on the way out.

 

If it hurt, then it was not done correctly. If it felt very briefly uncomfortable then job well done, now go home.

 

Hope this helps allay any testing anxiety. 😀





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  #2449826 30-Mar-2020 04:12
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Have posted an updated version of plot comparing rates of growth in cases in several countries in a new ‘Data, analysis, research links & related discussion’ thread.   Increasingly difficult to locate info in this thread.  Plus I suspect not so many here are interested in the info.

 

https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=161&topicid=268639&page_no=1#2449825

 

 

 

Now two plots, one looking at East vs West and the other, possible seasonality.


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  #2450026 30-Mar-2020 12:58
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As above. If you need to contact your GP or pharmacy contact them first and arrange a time.

 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms make sure to let them know in advance. 

 

Do not turn up at your GP or pharmacy and put everyone there at risk.





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  #2450395 31-Mar-2020 10:08
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I think it's time to stop trying to find loopholes or coming up with lame excuses. Please stop the discussion of the "can I drive to play touch rugby on the park across town" discussions now. You are not helping.

 

 





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  #2451477 31-Mar-2020 12:31
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Geektastic:

 

Thanks. I am trying to find the legal wording.

 

It's really just an intellectual activity to stave off boredom! I read a letter in a UK paper from a solicitor in which he pointed out that there were reasonably significant differences between the wording of the Statutory Instrument that created and defined the lockdown, what you can and cannot do etc and the interpretation of that by the Police. In essence, he said that the Police were attempting to make law rather than enforce it, which of course they should not do.

 

 

The starting point would be the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006 (you'll notice this is not a new Act) and the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002. There is also an army of changes to the Taxation and Social Security Acts in the COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Act 2020 and changes to Education, Tenancy, and Local Government Acts in the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Act 2020. There is an amendment to the Health Act 1956 in the Infectious and Notifiable Diseases Order 2020 (to enable contact tracing) and Infectious and Notifiable Diseases Order No 2 2020 (to add COVID-19 by name, as it was added before it was named). There is also the Social Security (COVID-19—Temporary Additional Support and Expiry and Regrant of Benefits) Amendment Regulations 2020 which negates the benefit expiry periods, the Social Security (Exemption from Stand-Down - Coronavirus COVID-19) Amendment Regulations 2020 which negates the stand-down periods for benefits, and the Social Security (Rates of Benefits and Allowances) (COVID-19 Recovery Package) Amendment Order 2020 which increases the benefit.

 

I believe the statutory powers are conferred by the Epidemic Preparedness Act and Civil Defence Emergency Management Act, and enacted by a notice in the Gazette.

 

Relevant notices appear to be these:

 

Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice 2020 - declares that there is an Epidemic.

 

Epidemic Preparedness (Epidemic Management— COVID-19) Notice 2020 - activates dormant provisions of Immigration, Social Security Acts.

 

Epidemic Preparedness (Epidemic Management— COVID-19—Parole Act 2002 and Sentencing Act 2002) Notice 2020 - activates dormant provisions of the Parole and Sentencing Acts.

 

Declaration of State of National Emergency by Minister of Civil Defence - declares the State of National Emergency that allows Civil Defence to make up the rules as it goes along.

 

I think you'll find there's no statutory instrument for the matter, because Civil Defence are empowered to just make up the rules. So whatever is on the web page is whatever applies.


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  #2451501 31-Mar-2020 13:22
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Kyanar:

 

The starting point would be the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006 (you'll notice this is not a new Act) and the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002. There is also an army of changes to the Taxation and Social Security Acts in the COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Act 2020 and changes to Education, Tenancy, and Local Government Acts in the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Act 2020. There is an amendment to the Health Act 1956 in the Infectious and Notifiable Diseases Order 2020 (to enable contact tracing) and Infectious and Notifiable Diseases Order No 2 2020 (to add COVID-19 by name, as it was added before it was named). There is also the Social Security (COVID-19—Temporary Additional Support and Expiry and Regrant of Benefits) Amendment Regulations 2020 which negates the benefit expiry periods, the Social Security (Exemption from Stand-Down - Coronavirus COVID-19) Amendment Regulations 2020 which negates the stand-down periods for benefits, and the Social Security (Rates of Benefits and Allowances) (COVID-19 Recovery Package) Amendment Order 2020 which increases the benefit.

 

I believe the statutory powers are conferred by the Epidemic Preparedness Act and Civil Defence Emergency Management Act, and enacted by a notice in the Gazette.

 

Relevant notices appear to be these:

 

Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice 2020 - declares that there is an Epidemic.

 

Epidemic Preparedness (Epidemic Management— COVID-19) Notice 2020 - activates dormant provisions of Immigration, Social Security Acts.

 

Epidemic Preparedness (Epidemic Management— COVID-19—Parole Act 2002 and Sentencing Act 2002) Notice 2020 - activates dormant provisions of the Parole and Sentencing Acts.

 

Declaration of State of National Emergency by Minister of Civil Defence - declares the State of National Emergency that allows Civil Defence to make up the rules as it goes along.

 

I think you'll find there's no statutory instrument for the matter, because Civil Defence are empowered to just make up the rules. So whatever is on the web page is whatever applies.

 

 

The basic powers are set out in the Health Act 1956, Sections 70 - 73.

 

I think these provisions were designed and enacted in the aftermath of an outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease in the UK in 1951/52.

 

 


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  #2451893 1-Apr-2020 00:34
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I started a new thread for data, analysis, etc and have posted updates there. https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=161&topicid=268639 


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