4 Nov 2020

Three Covid-19 cases: Imported case, historical case, isolation worker case

1:17 pm on 4 November 2020

There are three cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today including an imported case, a historical case, and the community case revealed yesterday, the Ministry of Health says.

COVID-19 Nasal swab laboratory test in hospital lab

Photo: 123RF

The community case is one of two healthcare workers at Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport managed isolation facility have tested positive for Covid-19.

The ministry revealed the case after the test result was received yesterday. The ministry today said the person, who is a close workplace contact of the first case, had recently tested negative during routine testing of isolation staff but was tested again after the first case was discovered.

The second isolation worker is not symptomatic, the ministry said.

Today's imported case was a person who arrived on 31 October from Singapore and tested positive around day 3 of their stay.

The historical case had arrived from Japan on 18 October. They tested positive around day 12 but subsequent testing meant the ministry was confident they had not recently been infected.

Another five cases recovered, bringing total active cases to 73. Total confirmed cases are at 1615 and laboratories completed 7171 tests yesterday bringing the total to 1,113,739.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told Morning Report that genome sequencing of one of the community Covid-19 cases shows the virus was passed on from within the facility.

While the source of infection is still under investigation, genome sequencing from the first of the two healthcare workers is the same as on five of the fishing crew isolating at the hotel, he said.

Four other new cases of Covid-19 were reported on Tuesday - all four were in managed isolation who had arrived from overseas in the past fortnight.

One of the two health workers visited the Chemist Warehouse at South City Mall while they may have been infectious, health officials said.

A push notification has been sent to through the NZ Covid Tracer app for anyone who was at the store from 3.52pm to 4.03pm on Friday.

The ministry said the person was in the store for a very short time, and the visit was regarded as a very low risk 'casual' exposure event.

Canterbury DHB Medical Officer of Health Ramon Pink said the person did not have any close contact with other people while in the chemists. They had no symptoms at that time and had not tested positive.