Massey academics study the Kiwi pandemic response in new major paper


Nigel French, a Distinguished Professor of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health, and Dr Jonathan Marshall, senior lecturer in the School of Fundamental Sciences


Two Massey academics have co-authored a paper exploring New Zealand’s response to the pandemic published this week in Lancet Public Health.

Nigel French, a Distinguished Professor of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health, and Dr Jonathan Marshall, senior lecturer in the School of Fundamental Sciences, co-authored the study providing epidemiological and statistical expertise in a major collaboration with the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and Otago University.

The study, led by Dr Sarah Jefferies from ESR, details how the speed and intensity of New Zealand’s response during this wave resulted in a much lower impact on the country and the initial elimination of COVID-19. 

It found that New Zealand’s response was notable for its strict border closures, rapid implementation of national lockdown, and rapid enhancement of surveillance activities. 

Key features of the New Zealand COVID-19 epidemic and response timeline


Professor French says it’s exciting to see the study published in a major journal such as Lancet Public Health.    

Key features of the New Zealand COVID-19 epidemic and response timeline“This study really explores the specifics of what happened in New Zealand and why our approach worked the way it did. This will be of interest to the international community and help inform future actions.

“Looking at how we as a nation responded provides a unique insight into the importance of strong leadership and science-informed decision making when faced with a major health crisis such as COVID-19.” Professor French says.  

Dr Marshall says it was great to work in collaboration with other academics on this COVID related project.

“It’s always great to see academics coming together in this way, especially for such a major study where everyone can contribute their unique expertise to such interesting research.”

Working alongside Professor French and Dr Marshall was a wide range of people including: national infectious disease epidemiology and public health expertise from ESR, Otago University, Epi-interactive and the Ministry of Health, public health practitioners, scientists and researchers. 

 


About the study and authors

COVID-19 in New Zealand and the impact of the national response: a descriptive epidemiological study, was funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Strategic Scientific Investment Fund, and the Ministry of Health.

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