Pasifika communities have been warned to "urgently prepare" for an outbreak of the coronavirus as community transmission of the virus re-emerges in Auckland.
John Fiso, chairman of Pacific Health Plus and the Pacific Leaders Group, says that with community spread of the virus in South Auckland - where New Zealand's largest Pacific population lives - communities must be ready for further spread of the virus.
"Medical and other resources must be quickly assessed and mobilised to ensure our communities, and providers within those communities, are ready to combat what could be a worst-case scenario for our Pacific families in high-density areas," Fiso said.
"The effects of an outbreak on our close-knit Pasifika communities with all of the challenges they already face - job losses, low incomes, multiple family members in condensed housing, and our country's worst health statistics - has the potential to be catastrophic for this group of New Zealanders."
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With a large percentage of last year's measles cases being from the Pacific community, Fiso said community spread of another contagious disease "cannot happen this time".
"Unfortunately when our Pacific communities have been confronted with contagious diseases or viruses in the past, such as measles and rheumatic fever, our country's response and support has not been good enough.
"We need all hands on deck - fanau, communities, providers, agencies and, importantly, our Government."
The Government's resurgence plan was triggered last night after four members of one South Auckland family tested positive for Covid-19.
Four further probable cases of the coronavirus were announced today, - all linked to the community based cases revealed last night - as well as one additional case in managed isolation.
Testing capacity has been ramped up across Auckland, with 13 testing sites now open across the city.
Fiso called on the Government to support the country's Pasifika population.
"The months of preparation, sacrifice and celebrating the successes of keeping Covid at bay, will now, more than ever, test the resilience and fortitude of our Pasifika families with the news of community transmission in our south Auckland community,"
Pacific Health Plus, a primary healthcare provider in Cannons Creek, Porirua, will continue to provide support and services to the area.