Four new cases in 2 days of COVID-19 in managed isolation

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Four new cases in 2 days of COVID-19 in managed isolation

Media release from the Ministry of Health
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There are 4 cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation to report in New Zealand since our last media statement on 5 January 2021.

There are no new cases in the community.

Of the new border cases:

  • One is historical. This person arrived on 4 January from the United Kingdom via Singapore. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is in the facility in Hamilton.
  • One case arrived on 5 January from the United Kingdom via Qatar. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is in the Auckland quarantine facility.
  • One case arrived on 5 January from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Australia. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is in the Auckland quarantine facility.
  • One case arrived on 29 December from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia and tested positive at day nine. This person is in the Auckland quarantine facility.

There are a range of reasons why a person may receive additional tests outside the routine testing. For example, if they are symptomatic, a potential contact of a case, or travelling within a travel bubble of a confirmed case.

One previously reported case has now recovered. Two previously reported cases have been reclassified as Under-Investigation and removed from the total. Changes to a case status can occur as we undertake further investigation to determine if they are an historical case.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 62. Our total number of confirmed cases is 1,832.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date to 1,426,787.

UK variant detected

All positive COVID-19 tests in New Zealand are sent to ESR for whole genome sequencing as part of our overall elimination strategy.

The Ministry of Health can confirm that an additional two cases of COVID-19 have been found to match the recently identified UK variant of COVID-19 known as 20B/501Y.V1 (Lineage
B.1.1.7). Both arrived from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.

This brings the total number of (Lineage B.1.1.7) variant cases sequenced in New Zealand to eight.

These people are all cared for with the same high level of infection prevention measures as all COVID-19 positive cases, with daily health checks and use of PPE. Infection prevention control protocols are in place for all staff and we can assure the public that there is no increased risk to the community.

The UK variant is more transmissible than other variants of the virus but there is no evidence at this stage that the length of the infection period is any different to any other variant of COVID-19, nor is it more likely to produce severe illness.

All cases detected in managed isolation must meet the recovered case definition before being allowed to leave the facility as assessed by the medical team. This includes a period of at least 72 hours without any symptoms and a minimum of 10 days since symptom onset or a positive test.

The Ministry of Health continues to monitor overseas developments very closely through the holiday period.

NZ COVID Tracer

NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,432,300 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 148,891,819 and users have now created more than 6 million (6,011,512) manual diary entries.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues around the globe we need to remain vigilant so we can continue to enjoy the conditions which we are lucky enough to be living under today.

The Ministry would like to remind all New Zealanders of the measures they should be taking to keep each other safe.

Use the Covid Tracer app to scan QR codes and turn on Bluetooth functionality. Turning on Bluetooth functionality will allow you to receive an alert if you have been near another app user who tests positive for COVID-19. Find out more here.

Also remember to stay home if you are unwell, maintain stringent hygiene practices, including washing and drying your hands and cough or sneeze into your elbow.

The Ministry’s next update is planned for 1pm on Sunday 10 January.

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