6 Nov 2020

Covid-19 update: One new case reported in New Zealand today

1:20 pm on 6 November 2020

There is just one new case of Covid-19 in managed isolation and quarantine facilities today.

A laboratory staff wearing Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) places a hand on samples collected for Covid-19 coronavirus testing.

(File image). Photo: AFP

There was no media conference for the update today. In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the new case reported today arrived from Singapore on 31 October and is now at the Auckland quarantine facility.

It said the total number of active cases had fallen to 44, with 24 previously reported cases now considered to have recovered.

The total number of confirmed cases is now 1618. There were 6856 tests processed in New Zealand's laboratories yesterday.

Yesterday, there were two new cases in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.

Christchurch cases linked to managed isolation

In its statement, the Ministry also gave an update on its investigation into the two positive test cases who worked in the managed isolation facility at the Sudima at Christchurch Airport.

It said its systems had "rapidly worked to put a ring around the virus and stop it spreading in the community".

"The first health care worker reported as testing positive sought a test quickly after developing very mild symptoms, even though they had just been tested two days earlier. This swift action allowed us to rapidly isolate Case A and trace and test their contacts.

"We then identified a further positive case in another health care worker, Case B, and quickly traced and tested their contacts too."

The Ministry said widespread testing had taken place in the managed isolation facility and in the contacts of the two health care workers.

Almost all had now returned negative results, with one result outstanding.

While investigations into where the health care workers were exposed to the virus were continuing, the Ministry said it believed they had been infected by the international mariners they have been caring for.

"The health care workers wore PPE while conducting their work, but we know this virus is tricky and has thwarted our systems before.

"As we have done after other events, a review will be undertaken at the managed isolation facility at the Sudima to assess where procedures could be improved to prevent similar infections in the future. These reviews have taken place at other managed isolation facilities and are part of our approach to continually improve how we manage Covid-19."

"The Community and Public Health team in Christchurch has conducted detailed investigations including interviews and contact tracing and we are confident that there is only an extremely low risk of re-exposure from the health care workers to the mariners. The Community and Public Health team is working on an exit plan for the mariners, who will be transferred directly onto their ships once released from managed isolation.

The Ministry said the system had worked as intended.

"It is a reminder that we need anyone who develops symptoms of Covid-19 to act with haste in seeking advice on getting a test. The quick thinking from the health care worker has allowed us to stop this virus spreading into a larger outbreak."

  • 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

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs