Covid 19 coronavirus: More international fishermen in Christchurch, 11 test positive for virus

Nearly 200 more international fishermen have made their way to Christchurch, with some testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival.

In an update from the Ministry of Health, it said the group of Ukrainian and Russian mariners arrived on Wednesday last week.

Eleven of them tested positive for Covid-19 and have been transferred to a quarantine facility in Christchurch.

“Only three of these cases have been identified as current cases, while the majority [eight] have been identified as historical cases,” a ministry spokesperson said.

A total of 190 mariners are now staying at managed isolation and quarantine facilities in the city.

A number of them were not able to board flights to New Zealand after testing positive during pre-departure testing.

“The managed isolation and quarantine facilities have strengthened procedures and protocols to ensure the risk to others in the group and in the facilities is reduced.”

It comes after an outbreak of Covid-19 within the first group of international fishermen, also from Russia and Ukraine, in October last year.

Thirty-one members of the group tested positive as well as two workers at the Sudima Christchurch Airport hotel where they were staying in managed isolation.

The fishermen have been brought to New Zealand to help revamp the fishing industry after the lockdown.

Covid-19 cases

On Sunday, it was announced there are 31 new cases of the virus in managed isolation since Thursday.

There are no new cases in the community. Nineteen cases at the border are now linked to the rapidly spreading UK strain of coronavirus.

“The number of cases reinforces the need for ongoing vigilance at the border, as Covid-19 continues to accelerate overseas,” the Ministry of Health said.

UK strain

The ministry said there are 19 cases in total – in people in managed isolation facilities – which are linked to the rapidly spreading UK coronavirus strain. One case is linked to the South African strain, the ministry said.

“Most of these people have come into New Zealand from the UK, via the UAE, Qatar or Singapore,” the ministry said.

The new strain has forced the UK back into lockdown, amid fears its health system will become overwhelmed.

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