Auckland Airport On High Alert Over Covid-19

New Zealand’s City of Auckland entered a three day lockdown as of midnight on 14th February 2021.  This is due to cases of the UK variant of Covid-19 reaching New Zealand’s shores via one family household.

Consequently, Auckland Airport is on high alert, with the only those needing to return to their residential base or for essential travel being allowed into the terminal. Once again, New Zealand has taken the ethos of: ‘assumption is the mother of all mishaps’ adopting a zero Covid-19 approach to prevent any future spread of the virus.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden remained optimistic that these temporary measures were fair and reasonable. She told New Zealanders to: “Remember, [that]we have been here before. That means we know how to get out of this: together.”

Further Covid-19 Compliance Measures Introduced

Auckland Airport has rolled out an additional layer of Covid-19 spread prevention, in the form of a Saliva Test available to its workers. The initiative was achieved with the help of Rako Science, a local business specialising in Covid-19 surveillance testing. The scheme is currently being run on a voluntary basis, but is considered to be a less invasive form of testing, that could provide a more preventative mechanism in detecting positive tests before they potentially infect the local population. The test could also mean faster turnaround test results times, whilst ensuring the continuous safety of the Airport’s workers.

New Covid-19 Saliva Test
The Gateway To Comprehensive Detection Of Asymptomatic Carriers | © New Zealand Herald

Furthermore, the Saliva Test will provide added comfort to those wanting an Asymptomatic Test. Auckland Airport’s General Corporate Services Manager, Mary-Liz Tuck said:

“We’re supporting Rako Science’s efforts to deploy a highly accurate saliva test because we know less-invasive, asymptomatic testing reduces the risks of outbreaks.”

The testing programme will commence for a period of three months, with its effectiveness reviewed thereafter. It is expected that Rako Science systems will be able to process up to 10,000 Saliva Tests per day.

The country’s Health Experts are hopeful that eventually the Saliva Test can replace the mandatory Nasopharyngeal Test.

Should more airports around the world introduce saliva testing? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Ranjit Shergill
Ranjit Shergill
Aviation Reporter - Based in London, UK, Ranjit has a love for opinions and analysis, and so got into writing as it presented a golden opportunity for him to share his views across a large landscape of readers. Ranjit is addicted to travelling, whether it be the dangerously exciting backroads of Central America or a cycling journey across the River Danube. He loves to embrace cultural hotspots and feels that travelling combines exciting adventures with humbling life experiences. Outside of travel, Ranjit enjoys public speaking, darts and loves a bargain!


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