LISTEN LIVE: Professor Michael Baker in studio on Newstalk ZB
The Covid-19 pandemic just became a little more personal for Professor Michael Baker, after the prominent epidemiologist's teenaged son contracted the virus in Sydney.
George Baker, 19, and his partner Hannah Burberry, 18, both of whom are double-vaccinated and also booked for boosters, have been isolated at home after they began feeling ill on Tuesday night.
Baker said his son was feeling like "death warmed up" - with severe aches and respiratory issues – and the pair were told by an official to catch an Uber to hospital, as the wait for an ambulance would have taken too long.
They then spent hours queuing outside hospital on Wednesday.
"They were tested outside and it came back positive. Then they later went home and were feeling miserable for a couple days and taking a lot of paracetamol," Baker said.
"Now they're feeling a bit better."
He said it wasn't known yet whether the virus was the Delta or Omicron variants – both of which have been responsible for disastrous waves in New South Wales.
Daily cases in NSW surged past 38,000 on Friday – a new daily record – while Covid-19 admissions in the state's hospitals doubled to more than 1700.
"From a public health point of view, I'm arguing for New Zealand to screw down the borders to limit transmission," Baker said.
"But from a personal point of view, it's actually quite painful, because it's going to make it harder for him to come back and study.
"I think everyone's affected, aren't they?"