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Covid-19: Two new cases makes total of 16

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There have been two new cases of Covid-19 reported today, both in managed isolation, although one was taken to Auckland Hospital with a different medical condition for a short period. This makes a total of 16 current cases.

Both new cases arrived from India.

In a statement the Ministry of Health said one of them - a woman in her 20s who arrived in New Zealand on June 18 - tested negative for Covid-19 on June 23 as part of routine testing, but was taken to hospital yesterday.

"She was taken by ambulance to Auckland Hospital's emergency department for a different medical issue for a short period before returning to managed isolation."

She then tested as part of her assessment at the hospital, which came back as positive today.

"Members of staff were aware that she had returned from overseas to a managed quarantine facility and appropriate protocols were followed, including the use of PPE."

The Ministry said no staff at the hospital are considered to be close contacts.

"The patient was cared for in a separate room while in the emergency department. She wore a surgical mask for the duration of her time at Auckland City Hospital. She did not require hospitalisation and the emergency department is the only part of the hospital she visited.

"Members of the public can be assured that Auckland City Hospital is safe for patients, visitors and staff."

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the initial negative test result was not unexpected as it was possible that the woman was in the early stages of incubating the disease at her initial test.

"What this case highlights is the importance of 14 days spent in managed isolation or quarantine together with daily symptom checks.

"Even with all returnees being tested twice during their stay in managed isolation, we continue to do a daily check for symptoms consistent with Covid-19 as part of our broader programme, which includes strict protocols in our managed isolation and quarantine facilities.

"The addition of testing is providing us with an extra level of assurance that we can identify people in managed isolation who have Covid-19 and, if they do, they can then be managed appropriately. So saying, the protocols in place at managed isolation facilities are based on the assumption that people may have Covid-19 until they complete their isolation period."

The other new case was a man in his 20s who arrived in New Zealand from India on June 22. He had been staying at the Grand Millennium Hotel and tested positive during the routine day-three test.

There was one new case yesterday, and 13 cases overall reported in the past week. All of those cases were in managed isolation and have been moved to quarantine facilities. There are no cases in the community.

The last time there were no new cases was on June 19.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in New Zealand is now 1172.

There was no media conference from the Health Ministry today. In a statement, it said 9178 tests were carried out yesterday, and the total number of tests completed so far is 387,435.

It also said it was still trying to contact 427 of the 2159 people who left managed isolation facilities between 9 and 16 June, and that 79 people have refused testing.

If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs)

 

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