Scan codes are still a lifeline in the ongoing fight against Covid-19.
Central Otago leaders are urging the community to ‘‘lift their game’’ by increasing their use of the Covid-19 tracer app.
The Central Otago Recovery Response Group was among community leaders who were reminding residents and visitors to use the app, especially in light of the two new variants significantly increasing the spread of the virus overseas.
University of Otago epidemiologist Prof Michael Baker said there was still a risk.
‘‘As soon as you have a variant that’s more infectious it means those with it are more likely to infect people on the flight to New Zealand, more likely to infect other people in managed isolation and the staff that work there. If the variant gets into the community, it’s more likely to cause an outbreak and it will be harder to control.’’
Central Otago Health Services chief executive Kathy de Luc said if there was another outbreak, it was crucial that health authorities could quickly identify who might have been exposed to any outbreak.
She said the best way that could happen was through people using their Covid-19 tracer app.
The Otago Chamber of Commerce business growth manager Tara Druce said another lockdown, even at Alert Level 3, would be a significant setback not only to businesses, but the wider community of Central Otago.
Central Otago Covid-19 recovery manager Dylan Rushbrook agreed.
‘‘Covid-19 remains a significant threat to our communities and our recovery, especially with new highly infectious variants emerging.’’
He said with the sun out and lots of people around enjoying a Central summer, it was easy to forget a global pandemic remained and countries around the world were back in lockdown.
He pleaded for people to use the Covid-19 tracer app.
‘‘It is the easiest thing to do to protect livelihoods and our communities.