CV-19 PRE­VEN­TION: Waimarama style

Desire to be safe un­der­stand­able but also try to be kind

Hawke's Bay Today - - Front Page - Christian Fuller

Asign warn­ing vis­i­tors to “stay out” of Waimarama has been put up amid grow­ing con­cerns of a Covid-19 out­break. The sign, which was erected on Waimarama Rd on the des­cent to the beach desti­na­tion, warns those en­ter­ing to “stay out, lo­cals only”.

Hast­ings Dis­trict Coun­cil­lor for the Kahu­ranaki Ward and Waimarama res­i­dent Sophie Siers said she was not sur­prised at the cre­ation of the sign, but hoped Hawke’s Bay could act as an ex­am­ple.

“We have to remember that in Hawke’s Bay, we are in­cred­i­bly lucky to only have six cases of Covid-19 at the mo­ment,” she said.

“Obviously it’s an anx­ious time for ev­ery­body and it’s chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions like these that can bring out the best and worst in peo­ple.”

Siers added: “While the sign is not sur­pris­ing, I would like to think that Hawke’s Bay can be an ex­am­ple to the rest of Aotearoa New Zealand in show­ing gen­eros­ity and sup­port of each other.”

Hast­ings Dis­trict Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Nigel Bickle said he ap­pre­ci­ates the desire to pro­tect Waimarama, but all res­i­dents must fol­low the guide­lines.

“It’s un­der­stand­able that peo­ple are want­ing to pro­tect their com­mu­ni­ties, and it’s im­por­tant that we all comply with the Govern­ment’s di­rec­tion to stay at home,” he said.

“Coun­cil sup­ports the Govern­ment’s ac­tions to try and elim­i­nate the Covid-19 virus, and it’s strongly rec­om­mended that peo­ple avoid un­nec­es­sary travel be­yond the im­me­di­ate com­mu­nity and to not un­der­take dis­tant travel.”

The New Zealand Ru­ral Gen­eral Prac­tice Net­work (NZRGPN) is also call­ing on those who have headed to their beach baches and ru­ral get­aways to not treat lock­down as a “holiday pe­riod”.

NZRGPN chair­woman Fiona Bolden said an in­flux of peo­ple trav­el­ling from cities to their baches to self­iso­late could put a strain on ru­ral gen­eral prac­tices and is call­ing on the Govern­ment and DHBs to sup­port ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties by set­ting up test­ing sta­tions.

“We do not cur­rently have ca­pac­ity to man­age our own pop­u­la­tions, par­tic­u­larly as our staff be­come un­well, let alone be­ing able to man­age this ex­tra in­flux of peo­ple who may well be bring­ing Covid with them,” she said. “We need peo­ple to un­der­stand that this is an iso­la­tion pe­riod not a holiday pe­riod.”

Bolden added: “Ru­ral prac­ti­tion­ers re­quest the pub­lic not to move out to ru­ral baches and to the beach to self-iso­late as there are not the re­sources there to man­age.”

Siers said she urges ev­ery­one to con­tinue to fol­low Govern­ment guide­lines not to relocate.

“I would urge peo­ple to fol­low the Govern­ment di­rec­tive that where you are cur­rently lo­cated is where you must stay for the du­ra­tion of the lock­down,” she said. “And most im­por­tantly, remember to be kind.”

Photo / Paul Tay­lor

A sign warn­ing those en­ter­ing Waimarama to “stay out, lo­cals only” has been erected amid Covid-19 wor­ries.

New Zealand Ru­ral Gen­eral Prac­tice Net­work is urg­ing peo­ple not to use beach baches and ru­ral get­aways as if it was a “holiday pe­riod”.

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