There is one new Covid-19 case in managed isolation, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield says.
The new case, a young boy aged between 1-4, arrived in New Zealand from the UK.
There have been no new community cases for six days in a row and the cluster connected to the Sofrana Surville ship and a marine engineer who worked on it has so far been contained to three people.
Seven more cases have now recovered so the active cases are 68, Bloomfield said today.
There were 2311 tests processed yesterday which Bloomfield said reflected the holiday weekend.
Bloomfield said since the new community case was uncovered there’d been tens of thousands of community tests and he thanked those working in testing centres and the laboratories.
There have now been 100 million scans of the Covid Tracer app and the average number of daily scans was up on the week before which Bloomfield said was “pleasing”.
But he said New Zealanders should continue scanning because “the more we scan, the safer we’ll be”.
Marine cluster contained
Bloomfield said we’re not yet at a point where we can be “fully confident” there’s an outspread connected to the marine engineer cluster.
Health officials have contacted all close and casual contacts of the marine engineer and all have tested negative.
Young traveller from NZ tests positive in Japan
Health authorities are investigating after a child tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Japan – despite testing negative for the virus in New Zealand.
“We do believe this is a historic case of false positive,” Bloomfield said.
Bloomfield said they were working with their Japanese counterparts to get a second test done.
While waiting for the results, close family members in New Zealand have been isolated and tested and returned negative results, the local health unit has been in touch with the childcare centre the child attended and told them the situation was low risk and anyone on the same domestic flight as the family are asked to monitor their health.
All of the family were tested before they left New Zealand and returned negative tests and only the toddler returned a positive test upon arrival in Japan. Bloomfield said he understands the family had been in Japan earlier in the year and one of the theories is the test picked up a historical case.
That family is in managed isolation in Japan. Serology testing has also been requested.
Hawke’s Bay’s medical officer of health Dr Nick Jones said the situation was “low risk”.
The child was also on an Air New Zealand flight from Napier to Auckland on October 22, Jones said.
The toddler also went to a childcare centre in Napier, which remains open.
People, though,connected to it should stay vigilant to monitoring their health for symptoms, Bloomfield says.
“We think it is very low risk.”
Anyone aboard flight NZ5018 should remain vigilant to any symptoms of Covid-19, including a new or worsening cough, fever and a loss of taste or smell, and self-isolate or seek a test if they develop symptoms.
Napier ship and foreign fishermen
The ship sitting off Napier to isolate has now docked in Napier and all crew have returned negative tests but none are leaving the dock while it’s in at port.
And there is a revised count of the number of international seamen who tested positive at a border hotel in Christchurch and that number stands at 29.
Bloomfield said health officials hadn’t changed their requirement for day 3 and day 12 testing – they added the day 6 testing in Christchurch because there was “intermingling” and it was an extra measure.
They haven’t decided how long that group will be staying in managed isolation and were waiting until the results of the day 12 tests before making that decision, said Bloomfield.
Health officials are reviewing whether workers coming into New Zealand then straight onto a ship should also complete the 14 days of isolation and are providing advice to the Health Minister this week, said Bloomfield.
His view was there was a common interest for New Zealand and ships that replacement crew are Covid-free when they join the ship.
Bloomfield said the Victoria lockdown “once again” showed the effectiveness of rigid arrangements and emphasised the importance of “doing it sooner rather than later” and he was encouraged that they managed to get on top of the outbreak.
He said it was a reminder the pandemic was in “full swing” in other countries and showed we needed to be “incredibly vigilant” here.
Over the long Labour Weekend, health officials reported being pleased with the number of people getting tests – especially those in Auckland.
On Saturday almost 5400 tests were processed and on Sunday there were just over 3000.
Today’s update will include the number of tests processed yesterday.
As well, the Ministry of Health has continued to ask people to keep using the Covid Tracer app to track your movements.
“The more we scan, the safer we’ll be. The faster we respond, the faster we stop it.”
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