Report from Covid-19 battlefront


Dr Tim Rigg’s a GP at the Queenstown Medical Centre, and one of many on the front line of Covid-19 in Queenstown

To say the last four weeks have been challenging is an understatement.

Since the middle of January, staff at Queenstown Medical Centre had been monitoring the growing threat of coronavirus throughout China, South East Asia, and Italy.

On Saturday, February 29, we decided to take action and established a strict front-door policy to protect both our patients and our staff as best as we could from the escalating issue.

To begin with, patients were mostly confused, yet polite, but by many we were treated as alarmist and on occasion our staff were deliberately coughed on and insulted.

As the days progressed and news from Europe worsened, the insults became less frequent and people became more aware of why we were taking these precautions.


Our number one priority has been the safety of our patients and staff.

Our front-line reception staff have been our true champions and have shown incredible bravery.

All of our staff have been fantastic – doctors, nurses, admin and management.

All have put in an incredible amount of extra work to meet the demand.

Under incredibly difficult circumstances, we have all come together as a team like never before.

In the last four weeks, we have performed more than 150 swabs for Covid-19 at the medical centre.

We have received more than 15 positive results from these swabs.

Throughout this time we have remained open, and no other patients or staff members have been put at risk.

No staff member has been asked to self-isolate or, thankfully, contracted the virus.

We are all very proud of these facts.

By taking early and decisive action we have given ourselves at least a fighting chance in managing the devastating effects of this virus.

Now it’s down to you!

Remember to wash your hands, stay at home, DO NOT visit your friends.

Indulge in a Netflix marathon and catch up on all that sleep you promised yourself.

Keep healthy and most of all, in these difficult, difficult times, please be kind to each other.