Duncan Garner: Jacinda Ardern must call in Ashley Bloomfield after Northland testing mess

OPINION On Tuesday, we should get our first real indication of whether this virus has spread again. 

Testing has gone bonkers and given the carrier's busy schedule it would be naive and rather too hopeful to think it hasn't spread. 

But the Government's COVID-19 numbers man Shaun Hendy, 'Mr Predictions', has good news.

He thinks there could be less than 10 new COVID-19 cases that come as a result. 

That's low given the woman's schedule darting around Northland. Fingers crossed. 

But the case has rocked us and sent us into shock.

Of course, it doesn't have to be this way.

I've seen panic buying in supermarkets - not necessary. They proved they could more or less keep up during the first lockdown.

And medical teams have been overwhelmed by the numbers of people going for testing. 

I hear you. You are frustrated by the delays.

Fair enough, I get that. But this was never advertised as a picnic. Some of this will be hard work. 

But the wider public good matters more. Grin and bear it. 

Two hours in a car is better than four weeks at home. We have no option. 

But here's what baffles me: Why is the health ministry so surprised and overwhelmed by the numbers of people turning up for testing?

Surely they have modelled regional outbreaks and have contingency plans?

Testing was a damn mess in Northland - not good enough. We've had plenty of time to be ready for this. 

Going hard and going early must also mean we have planned well. 

The phrase means nothing if it's not true. 

The rhetoric doesn't always meet the actions with this lot. 

The Health Minister said we'd be first in line for a vaccine? But daylight has revealed something very different.

This is a wakeup call for sure. Not just for us but for our health ministry. If I was Ardern, I'd call in Ashley and read him the riot act.

We can't keep celebrating last year's gains. Ardern's reputation is at stake.

This won't be the last case.

It's how ready we are and how we manage it that counts.

Let's up our game.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.