Covid 19 Coronavirus: Six new cases – one a border worker

There are six new cases of Covid-19 today including a border worker linked to the November quarantine cluster

That person, who is already in quarantine, is a close contact of one of the cases from
the November cluster which began when a Defence Force worker at the Jet Park quarantine facility tested positive (Case A).

The worker met another Defence Force worker (Case B) in Auckland. That person then flew to Wellington the following day, and did not wear a mask on the flight.

The person ate at Malaysian restaurant Little Penang on the Terrace. Another Defence Force worker (Case C) was at the lunch and also contracted the virus.

Despite the new community case, the Health Ministry said the cluster was contained.

The new cases comes as World Health Organisation data reveals the coronavirus is killing one person every eight seconds around the world.

The WHO recorded 9989 new deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours – making yesterday the third deadliest day since the beginning of the pandemic as a third wave sweeps many parts of the globe.

In Europe, where cases are surging in multiple countries across the continent, the outlook is also grim, and WHO Europe’s director warned one person is being killed by the virus every 17 seconds.

The other five cases in New Zealand today are recent returnees in managed isolation.

Those who have tested positive include two people arrived from Qatar who arrived here on November 17. They returned a positive result to routine day three testing and are being today transferred to Auckland’s quarantine facility.

The third person to test positive arrived from Germany via Qatar and Australia onNovember 10. They returned a positive result following a series of previous tests returning inconclusive results and have also been transferred to quarantine in Auckland.

Two people who arrived from the United States onNovember 14 have also returned a positive tests and are now in quarantine in Christchurch.

Thereare now42 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

The health ministry said laboratories yesterday processed 7014 tests , bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,224,397.

“This level of testing as well as the prompt identification, tracing, testing and isolation of close contacts provides reassurance that this cluster is contained at this stage,” said the ministry in a statement today.

This weekend is a significant test for automatic tracing at Beervana festival in Wellington, with people not needing to individually scan in QR codes.

Beacons will be in use and the results of the trial will help digital agency Paperkite, which is working with the Ministry of Health, to decide whether there will be any further rollout.

In the community, the November quarantine cluster continues to vex health officials who are yet to work out how a Defence staffer who became infected working at a quarantine facility transmitted the disease to an inner-city tertiary student.

Health authorities yesterday revealed they were still continuing to follow up contacts from existing cases that were part of this cluster.

But promisingly, the Ministry of Health said wide testing around the known cases allowed officials to have greater confidence there were not possible undetected links in the chain of transmission.

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