3 Aug 2020

Covid-19: Two new cases in managed isolation facilities

1:44 pm on 3 August 2020

There are two new Covid-19 cases in managed isolation today.

Coronavirus structure. Computer illustration showing a coronavirus with the RNA (ribonucleic acid) inside and proteins on the surface.

Photo: AFP

There was no conference for the update today. In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the first case is a male teenager who arrived in New Zealand from the USA on 29 July.

The Ministry said he tested positive for Covid-19 as part of routine testing around day three of his stay in managed isolation at the Sudima Hotel in Auckland, and has since been transferred to the quarantine facility.

The second case is a man in his 20s who arrived in New Zealand from Switzerland via Amsterdam and Seoul on 20 July.

He has been staying at the Sudima Hotel in Christchurch and tested negative around day three of his stay, then tested positive at his second routine test, the Ministry said.

"This case again emphasises the importance of testing returnees in managed isolation twice before they are able to leave the facility."

It has been 94 days since the last case of Covid-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand's managed isolation and quarantine facilities is now 27.

It brings the total number of confirmed Covid-19 in the country to 1217.

There is no-one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for the disease.

There were 1692 Covid-19 tests completed yesterday, of which 1259 swabs were taken in the community and 433 swabs were taken in managed isolation or quarantine facilities.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said New Zealanders need to continue to be vigilant against the threat of Covid-19 and testing rates need to increase across the country.

"We have seen how quickly infection can spread within communities, cities, and states overseas. There is still a pandemic raging around the globe and while our strict border controls form our first line of defence from the virus, we need to be sure it has not crept undetected into our communities."

The results from a recent survey of GPs showed that half of the 800 GPs surveyed had seen patients who declined a Covid test and that the proportion of patients that declined was on average 25 percent.

Dr Bloomfield encouraged all people who are offered a test to have it done.

Yesterday, three people tested positive for the virus in managed isolation. Meanwhile, two people who had recently been in New Zealand later reportedly tested positive overseas. But one of them did not appear to have close contacts on their transit via Auckland to Sydney, while the other was followed up with by the Ministry.

It comes after the case of a person who had travelled to South Korea from New Zealand and later tested positive. That traveller's close contacts had been followed up with last week, tested and isolated as a precaution, with all returning negative tests.

In addition, the Sylvia Park mall was shut for cleaning and contact tracing was under way in Fiordland last week, after the Ministry was made aware that the traveller had visited those places.

Surveillance testing has been ramped up over the weekend in South Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown - places that traveller had visited last month.

On Morning Report today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern signalled she wanted to ramp up surveillance testing and urged people to accept tests if they were offered one.

She said there could be a lag between countries notifying New Zealand of positive cases with links to travel here, but believed health authorities here had acted quickly when they found out.

Further community testing will take place at a pop-up testing centre on Tuesday in the Queenstown Pak 'n' Save carpark.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre

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