New Zealand should be aiming for zero healthcare workers to be infected with Covid-19 while doing their jobs, says a top epidemiologist.
And Workplace Relations Minister Andrew Little said there should be an investigation into how almost 100 health staff contracted the deadly virus at work during the first outbreak.
The Weekend Herald revealed one in 10 of all confirmed cases with a local source until mid-June was a healthcare worker the Health Ministry says was likely infected in their workplace.
The ministry couldn't provide data on what job those 96 were doing, whether it was in a hospital, testing site or rest home or even which region they were in.
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University of Otago epidemiologist Michael Baker has long called for data on healthcare workers infected with Covid-19 to be reported on the ministry's website.
Without it, it was impossible to trace patterns and identify vulnerabilities in policies, practices or systems to find how to reduce risk, he said.
"New Zealand should be aiming for zero healthcare workers infected."
At least five healthcare workers are among the confirmed cases from the second outbreak - but only the nurse working at the Jet Park Hotel who was treating a Covid-positive person has been confirmed as contracting the virus at work.
Yesterday there were two new cases of Covid-19 - one in managed isolation and one in the community which was still being investigated. Four people were in hospital.
And contact tracers had been in touch with all but six of the 3918 close contacts of cases. More than 8300 tests were processed on Friday.
Baker said the ministry should also be reporting and regularly updating data on healthcare worker infections so the advice it gives employers is as up to date as possible.
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation and E Tū want an independent investigation into how the workers contracted the virus and say it should be done by WorkSafe because it is a health and safety issue.
WorkSafe has rejected this because it doesn't investigate clinical incidents.
The Ministry of Health is working on a descriptive report on the issue, which it expects to release this month.
There have been three other investigations involving healthcare workers, including the Auditor-General's report on personal protective equipment and a review into how seven nurses contracted the virus at Waitākere Hospital, but no wide-ranging investigation into the broader issue.
Baker said every employer that has a worker infected with the virus should thoroughly investigate, then share that report widely so others could learn from it.
Little said given one in 10 people were infected in their workplace, he would expect that "was enough for WorkSafe to think about" doing a general inquiry with every health board and every provider to make sure the right measures were in place.
"And to make sure they were doing everything they could to prevent transmission to healthcare workers. Those healthcare workers have been absolutely vital and continue to be absolutely vital - we can't have them going down sick with this virus.
"The circumstances are such that we do need some assurance that everything that could be being done, was being done."
National's health spokesman Shane Reti said it "was frustrating in a number of ways" that the public didn't know more about the healthcare workers who were infected.
If a number of them were hospital cleaners, for example, that would point to there being a systemic flaw in the way they were being kept safe, he said.
Or if a large number wore glasses, perhaps that meant their PPE didn't fit properly, he said.
"It's not hard data to find," Reti said.
"We really need to identify the flaw in the system and how we let them down - and they have been let down - and find out how can we fix that."