Three original community cases of COVID-19 in Auckland weren't scanning with app

There has been a major revelation about the use of the COVID Tracer app by the three original cases - none of them were scanning anywhere they went. 

This is extremely problematic. The COVID Tracer app is one of the most important tools we have in our arsenal to guard New Zealand against community spread of the coronavirus. 

The Government and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield were quick to tell us how assiduous the Northland case was at scanning, how useful that was. 

But they kept the fact these three original COVID-19 cases weren't scanning at all very quiet and didn't volunteer that information.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Dr Bloomfield tried to brush it aside on Wednesday, saying they identified locations of interest through eftpos transactions and interviews, but you don't buy something everywhere you go and memories are fallible.

"We never entirely want to rely on memory and we never want to rely on bank cards," Ardern said. "That's why we ask people to use the app. It's why we ask people to turn on the Bluetooth and keep scanning."

It may not just be just those first three cases not scanning. When asked if Wednesday's two new cases had been, Dr Bloomfield said the Ministry of Health is still looking for that information.

"Still looking for that information," he said. 

So all of these cases may have been to places and come into contact with people we don't know about yet, strengthening calls to make scanning mandatory.

"No one wants nor can we afford more lockdowns," says ACT leader David Seymour. 

"When we made masks on public transport compulsory very few people didn't comply. Using the app or manually signing in needs to become part of everyone's culture; tell them it's compulsory Prime Minister and they'll buy in, just watch them."