29 Oct 2020

Covid-19: Six new cases today, all in managed isolation

1:39 pm on 29 October 2020

There are six new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, all imported cases.

Group of viruses, computer illustration.

File image. Photo: AFP

There are no new community cases, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

There was no 1pm news conference today.

The ministry said all six cases were identified during routine testing around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation.

One person arrived from the Netherlands via Singapore on 23 October, and four people arrived from India on 24 October. The ministry is seeking details of the sixth person's arrival.

Two previously reported cases were now considered to have recovered, bringing the total number of active cases to 70.

The total number of confirmed cases is now 1593.

Yesterday there were 7403 Covid-19 tests processed, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,083,230.

The ministry said crew of the cargo ship Ken Rei were all tested for Covid-19 again yesterday and today have all returned a second negative test result.

The ship will today depart Napier and head for Tauranga.

On the New Zealand child who returned a weak positive Covid-19 test after their arrival in Japan, the ministry said they were continuing to work with New Zealand's Japanese counterparts.

"We suspect this is a historical case or a false positive result, and will provide further details when they are available."

The ministry reminded people that anyone who becomes unwell should seek a test immediately.

Yesterday, there were two new cases of Covid-19, both in managed isolation, with no new community cases.

In Covid-19 news today, a group of top epidemiologists are suggesting that people arriving from places with a low Covid-19 risk could spend part of their quarantine at home.

Covid tracing card

A trial programme for the proposed contact tracing card is now moving into the final 'on the ground' and analysis phases, the ministry said.

"The Ministry has worked closely in partnership with Te Arawa and the Universities of Waikato and Otago to co-design these phases of the programme. Te Arawa knows the Ngongotahâ community better than anyone and has the skills and experience needed to support a successful community trial."

"The programme aims to recruit between 500 and 1,500 members of the Ngongotahâ community, who will be asked to wear the cards as they go about their daily activities and attend community events. Registration will commence on 30 October, and the trial process will finish on 15 November."

The cards use Bluetooth to exchange 'digital handshakes' with each other to keep an anonymised record of participants' close contacts with each other.

The ministry said the trial would help to understand how well the contact tracing cards perform in a real-world scenario.

"The results of the trial will help inform a decision by government later this year on whether contact tracing cards should be rolled out more widely to support contact tracing alongside the NZ Covid Tracer app."

The Covid Tracer app has recorded 808,250 poster scans over the last 24 hours.

"The better our habits are in alert level 1, the more likely we will be able to stay here without the restrictions of higher levels," the ministry said.

There are now 2,332,300 users registered on the app.

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