8 Jul 2021

Covid-19 update: No new community cases, one case in managed isolation

1:48 pm on 8 July 2021

There have been no community cases of Covid-19 reported today and one new case reported in managed isolation.

Group of viruses, computer illustration. (Photo by KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRA / KKO / Science Photo Library via AFP)

coronavirus generic

Photo: AFP

In a statement, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said one of two Covid-19 positive mariners on board the Viking Bay ship had the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Genome sequencing showed the infection was not linked to any other cases in New Zealand, the MOH said.

It was not yet clear which port the vessel - currently off the coast of Taranaki - would return to.

"On their return to New Zealand, 15 of the 20 crew members disembarking (including the two Covid-19 positive mariners) are expected to go into a managed isolation and quarantine facility.

"This will likely be a facility at the port they return to. There are no managed isolation or quarantine facilities in New Plymouth so at this stage it is considered unlikely they will return to Port Taranaki. New Zealand Customs and other agencies are working on the operational details of the boat's return."

But this morning the agent for the ship carrying the two mariners said officials jumped the gun in announcing all its crew would be taken into managed isolation.

The situation was still regarded as low risk and there were not locations of interest.

Second boat with 'flu like symptoms'

The MOH said a second foreign owned fishing vessel operating from New Zealand had contacted authorities and "declared that a number of crew have reported flu like symptoms and the vessel has requested to dock in New Zealand".

"The ship will undergo the usual pratique declarations and the situation assessed by the local public health unit.

"The vessel is outside our territorial waters and presents no immediate risk to New Zealand. This situation will be updated by Customs as more information comes to hand."

Travel bubble pause

A pause on quarantine-free travel with the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland was extended yesterday.

The MOH said today "return green flights" from New South Wales and Queensland would begin on Friday.

New Zealand citizens, New Zealand permanent residents or resident visa holders, citizens of Australia or persons who hold current permanent residence visas issued by the government of Australia who last departed New Zealand after 5 April, Holders of New Zealand temporary visas who last departed New Zealand after 5 April and spouses, civil union partners, de facto partners, dependent children or parents of dependent children of any of the other categories are eligible for the flights.

Anyone boarding the flights will need to have a negative pre-departure test taken within 72 hours before departure.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins yesterday announced that had Medsafe granted provisional approval of the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years and older.

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