Don’t forget whānau and communities most at risk, says the Green Party, as the Government lays out its three-phase plan for Omicron.
“As Omicron starts to spread, we must ensure that those who need it, get support to feed their whānau and pay their bills,” says Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, Green spokesperson for COVID-19 Response.
“Again and again, COVID-19 has shone a light on the inequities and health disparities in Aotearoa. We need to put our most vulnerable first.
“Whānau who were already struggling to make ends meet will experience the worst impacts of Omicron if we do not prioritise them.
“The Green Party’s focus is on ensuring vulnerable people have everything they need to stay well and keep their whānau safe – especially if they need to self-isolate at home. This means:
- Prioritising Māori and Pasifika providers for vaccinations for five to 11-year-olds and boosters for older whānau
- Providing free medical grade masks for those who cannot afford them
- Getting rapid antigen tests to essential workers and those most at risk as quickly as possible
- Making sure workplaces and schools are safe places to be
“We know when Māori, Pasifika and local providers are resourced to support whānau with vaccinations, testing and home visits, it is the most effective way to ensure those communities are taken care of.
“The Government also needs to:
- Support households to create self-isolation plans and look out for those who live alone
- Ensure the self-diagnostic tools and healthcare interviews prioritise immunocompromised people and people with underlying health issues.”