COVID-19: Two new cases in NZ

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

There have been two new cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today, both in managed isolation.

The new cases are two women in their 20s who were travelling together. They arrived from Pakistan via Dubai on 27 July and have been in managed isolation at the Sudima in Rotorua and are now being transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

The total number of confirmed cases is now 1212.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said it had been 92 days since the last case of Covid-19 was acquired in the community.

There are now 22 active cases in New Zealand, none of whom were in hospital.

There have now been six cases of the coronavirus reported in this country in the past week, all in managed isolation.

There were 3002 tests completed in the country's labs yesterday - 2606 taken in the community and 396 taken in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.

There have now been 468,068 tests carried out.

Positive results in Sydney

The Ministry also gave further details on reports that two female passengers who have travelled from Auckland to Sydney last month have tested positive.

The first was a woman who transited through Auckland from Los Angeles to Sydney on July 6.

"At this point there are not considered to be any close contacts who need to be traced or tested but enquiries continue with both the airline and airport."

The second case was a woman who travelled from Auckland to Sydney on 20 July, and the Ministry said it had already talked directly with her.

"At this point, it appears the person may have been a previously unconfirmed case from March and this is likely to have led to the positive test result.

"We will continue to fully investigate the circumstances of this positive result, including travel history."

The Ministry said Auckland Regional Public Health was now following up with household contacts in Auckland and other contacts as appropriate. Testing and self-isolation has been implemented for close contacts.

South Korean case

The Ministry said there continued to be no evidence of any transmission in New Zealand from the traveller who tested positive for Covid-19 when they arrived in South Korea, and that all domestic contacts of this case tested so far had returned negative results.

"While these results reinforce that the public health risk from this case continues to be low, further contact tracing is taking place around their travel within New Zealand, including their visit to the Queenstown area in early July, the South Auckland area where they were based and Christchurch where they departed from."

There is also targeted surveillance testing taking place in Queenstown, South Auckland and Christchurch this weekend, and the Ministry said this testing was "going well".

"From Auckland today we can report a steady number of people coming forward at four new model community testing centres which are open till 3pm this afternoon. There's still plenty of capacity across all the centres located at Northcote, Eden Terrace, Henderson and Wiri.

"Testing in Christchurch has already been targeted to people who were at the limited number of locations the case visited while staying overnight in Christchurch on 20 July and also staff at Christchurch Airport who processed the flight he travelled on to Singapore.

"Canterbury DHB has had an excellent response to the offer of testing and all tested so far have had negative results. Canterbury DHB is also tracing and testing identified contacts who visited the Southern DHB Region who are now back in Canterbury."

The Ministry said it wanted to thank all possible contacts who have been tested around this case.

"These negative test results provide us with confidence that New Zealand has no community transmission of Covid-19.

"Testing is the best way we can be assured that there is no undetected community transmission in New Zealand - and we need everyone to play their part in that. If you are offered a test for Covid-19 please get swabbed."

RNZ

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