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LETTERS: Prevention is better than cure

Wednesday 26 January 2022 | Written by Sian Solomon | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


LETTERS: Prevention is better than cure

Dear Editor, when I saw the clip of flights arriving in Raro of the lady working at the airport with a face shield and no mask, it just showed they are definitely not prepared and putting themselves and others at risk.

That is not effective and will not protect them. At least wear a proper medical grade mask, the screens are an additional protection you still need to wear the proper mask.

Let’s not be ignorant, ask the doctors and nurses who work with Covid patients every day and wear the proper medical grade gear who haven’t caught Covid yet? Like I said nothing is 100 per cent effective but the proof is in the hospitals who have good practices of infection control.

Sadly, the outbreaks in New Zealand have come from airport and quarantine staff hence my concern. It only took one staff member amongst the many others who work there to start an outbreak throughout NZ, imagine what if one or in this case many airport staff caught it? And took it home to their Anau. Vaccines don’t prevent Covid so a double vaccinated tourist or returnee could still bring Covid to the Cook Islands.

We need to do everything we can to keep our Anau safe because let’s be honest, the Cook Islands medical resources are limited and sadly our Anau die of treatable illnesses all the time because the health system in Rarotonga is inadequate, why would we risk putting pressure on a system that is already broken?

Wearing the correct medical grade masks as well as practicing good hygiene practices does reduce the risk significantly and a lot safer than wearing none. I don’t agree to wearing them for too long and employees should be given more frequent breaks so they can take them off and get fresh air, I don’t agree to mandating everyone to get vaccinated either as it only reduces symptoms for the vaccinated. But it is in our nature to watch out for each other and wearing a proper mask when working in high risk jobs like at the airport we need to do as much as possible to keep ourselves and our people safe. At least provide frontline staff with the appropriate gear so they can at least do their best.

Marsters Herewini


It is expected, boosted or not, we will still carry the virus, no doubt about that. What we need to focus on is how to contain it, how to minimise the spread area, because unlike the papa’a, we islanders don’t, like literally don’t akarongo (listen).

So containing the situation is the key to (lessening) wide spread of the virus once it gets here. This is what will save on our health system.

Pa Matapo