Ngāti Ruanui raises concerns over lack of Covid-19 wastewater testing in wider Taranaki Region

Ngāti Ruanui raises concerns over lack of Covid-19 wastewater testing in wider Taranaki Region

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Ngāti Ruanui is raising serious concerns following wastewater testing in the wider Taranaki region.

The Covid-19 virus was found in wastewater of New Plymouth recently, but the response from Taranaki's District Health Board (TDHB) is understood not to be doing enough test sampling in the surrounding areas.

Answers are needed about how prepared the region is if there were to be a significant outbreak.

“The population of Taranaki is highly mobile throughout the region. It is extremely unsettling to find out that no other regional wastewater systems are being monitored for the virus,” Kaiwhakahaere, Rachel Rae said.

“Hawera, Patea, Eltham and Stratford wastewater plants are not being monitored. We could have community transmission without having any monitoring.”

Source: CC/ Gettyimages

Another concern is the availability of primary health and GP staff who can support testing centres. But, due to worker strain and a small workforce, it could pose challenges. “It is already spearheading the vaccination roll-out,” she said.

Ngāti Ruanui has raised questions about testing plans being ‘made up on the spot' without future-proofing.

The plans should accordingly be in place and adequately resourced in case there is community transmission at any given time.

**The Ministry of Health was contacted for comment but did not respond upon the deadline for this publication release. This publication will be updated accordingly.

Image: SUPPLIED/Wikicomms [New Plymouth overlooking Mt Taranaki]

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