The architect of New Zealand’s COVID elimination strategy

Marc Daalder in Newsroom:

Michael Baker figures he was the first public health expert in the world to talk about eliminating Covid-19, though he’s not sure why.

“Using that terminology which is straight from the infectious disease 101, it’s a really standard term,” he tells Newsroom during a recent interview in Newtown, near the University of Otago’s Wellington campus.

“The world has a measles and rubella elimination approach. New Zealand has theoretically eliminated those diseases. There’s certainly a global polio elimination/eradication programme. So I just thought I was saying the obvious, but it can’t have been the obvious because no one else was saying it.”

This was before New Zealand even made the decision to go into lockdown, when Baker — a professor at Otago’s Department of Public Health and a member of the Government’s Technical Advisory Group on Covid-19 — was the lone voice for what he was then terming a “pulse lockdown”.

More here.