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COVID-19: 19 new cases all in managed isolation

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There are 19 cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation to report in New Zealand since the last Ministry of Health update statement on December 31 2020.

There are no new cases in the community.

One case is historical. This person arrived on December 19 from the United States via Australia. This person tested positive at routine testing around day 12 and is staying in quarantine in a facility in Hamilton.

One case arrived on December 20 from India via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. This person tested positive at routine testing around day 12 and has been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case arrived on December 23 from the United Kingdom via Singapore. This person tested positive following the onset of symptoms on day 8 and has been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case arrived on December 24 from India via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. This person tested positive around day 6 and has been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case arrived December 27 from United Kingdom via United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. This person tested positive during routine testing around day 3 and has been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case arrived on 2December 28 from the United States. This person tested positive during routine testing around day 3 and has been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case arrived December 29 from United Kingdom via United Arab Emirates. This person tested positive following the onset of symptoms on day 2 and has been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case arrived December 29 from United Kingdom via United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. This person tested positive during routine testing around day 3 and has been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case arrived December 29 from the United Kingdom and tested positive during routine testing around day three. They were transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case arrived December 29 from Denmark via United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. This person tested positive following the onset of symptoms on day 1 and is in the Auckland quarantine facility.

Two cases, travelling together, arrived on December 29 from the United Kingdom via Qatar. They tested positive during routine testing around day 3 and were transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

Four cases, travelling separately, arrived on December 29 from the United Kingdom via United Arab Emirates. They tested positive during routine testing around day 3 and were transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case arrived on December 29 from the Seychelles via United Arab Emirates. They tested positive during routine testing around day 3 and were transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case arrived on December 29 from South Africa via Singapore. They tested positive during routine testing around day 3 and were transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case arrived on December 31 from the United States. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is in a Christchurch quarantine facility.

Two previously reported cases have now recovered. The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 72. The total number of confirmed NZ cases is 1,825.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date to 1,414,422.

UK variant detected

The Ministry of Health can confirm that six positive 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).

All positive COVID-19 tests in New Zealand are sent to ESR for whole genome sequencing as part of our overall elimination strategy. As part of routine sequencing of these particular cases, matches to the UK variant were confirmed.

The six cases, five of whom travelled from the United Kingdom and one who travelled from South Africa, arrived into New Zealand between 13 and 25 December and underwent routine testing in managed isolation as part of routine surveillance testing or because they developed symptoms. Once confirmed positive they were transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

Four of these cases are now recovered and, after a final health check, were able to leave the facility.
The cases 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 ten days since symptom onset or a positive test.

New testing for high risk countries now in place

New requirements for people arriving from the UK and US came into effect as of 11.59pm on December 31 2020. Anyone arriving into New Zealand from the UK or US is required to have a COVID-19 test on day 0, i.e. within 24 hours of arriving into managed isolation and stay in their rooms until a test result is available.

If they are symptomatic on arrival, they will go straight to a quarantine facility.

In addition to this, as announced by the Minister for COVID-19 Response today, from January 15, travellers from the United Stated and the United Kingdom will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing for New Zealand.

The Ministry of Health continues to monitor overseas developments very closely through the holiday period. The added day 0/1 testing and pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from these countries are extra precautionary steps which provide another layer of protection for New Zealand from COVID-19.

NZ COVID Tracer

NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,427,300 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 147,185,025 and users have created 5,937,951 manual diary entries.

The Ministry would like to remind all New Zealanders to keep each other safe and use the Covid Tracer app to scan QR codes and turn on Bluetooth functionality.

This 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.

The Ministry’s next update is planned for 1pm on Tuesday January 5.

 

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Unbelievable

Posted on 04-01-2021 07:59 | By Johnney

I flew back from Europe with Emirates a few months ago. I had to provide a very recent negative Covid test. I thought this was a NZ government requirement. I now find out this was only Emirates policy. It is unbelievable we allow people to return from the worlds top hot spots without a test prior to flying.