Epidemiologist Sir David Skegg - "this won't be the worst one"

coronavirus 26/03/2020

Epidemiologist at the University of Otago Medical School and former Chairman of the Public Health Commission Sir David Skegg joins the Ryan Bridge Drive Show to discuss the ongoing pandemic of Covid-19.

With 283 confirmed cases on day one of lockdown, Ryan asks how likely it is that this is under-reported.

It’s inevitable that the number of cases will be much larger than that

Ashley Bloomfield’s statement earlier today told us 27 people have recovered from Covid-19, Ryan asks whether they are being tested to make sure they are no longer infectious.

“No I don’t think so,” Skegg replies, “I’m sure the number of people who have recovered is bigger than that, but that’s all that has been confirmed so far” he adds.

When asked whether recovered people can spread the virus, he states “definitely not.” It appears you are then immune, Skegg explains, however the duration of immunity is currently unknown.

“I’m very optimistic New Zealanders will deal with this lockdown well.”

Skegg explains they are trying to increase the number of tests available, performing contact tracing, and then isolating those people, with no new affected people entering the border.

Ryan summarizes what may happen after the lockdown lifts, have hundreds of people hired to do community tracing should we need to, have testing kits available, and to keep our borders closed, to which Skegg explains;

We need to do this until a vaccine becomes available, which would be at least a year.

Watch the full interview above.