Covid 19 coronavirus: Two new cases – in managed isolation

There are two new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation.

The first case reported today arrived on October 31 from Singapore and tested positive around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation.

The second case was detected in managed isolation in Auckland, after being given permission to join a family member recently arrived from overseas. The family member has previously been recorded in our positive case totals.Today’s case will be recorded as an import-related case.

Eight previously reported cases are now considered to have recovered, meaning New Zealand’s total number of active cases is now 67. All cases linked to the maritime company outbreak are now recovered.

Health workers

Two healthcare workers at the Christchurch Airport-based Sudima Hotel have now tested positive for Covid-19 this week.

“Teams are undertaking detailed work to ascertain the exact source of the infection of the two workers at the managed isolation facility in Christchurch, although the genome sequencing from the first case reported indicates the lineage of the virus is the same as five of the international mariners at the facility,” the Ministry of Health said today.

“This includes interviews with cases, and genome sequencing of the second case.

“All contacts of the two cases have been followed up and tested. All results we have returned to date are negative, with a small number outstanding.

“All staff who worked at the Sudima Hotel since 23 October have been tested, and all the results we have returned are negative. At this stage we have not identified any further cases connected to these staff members, but we are continuing ongoing monitoring of their contacts and of other staff at the Sudima. All their close contacts remain in isolation.”

International fishermen

The facility where the pair worked is housing hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian seamen who were flown to New Zealand to work in our fisheries.

To date, 31 men have fallen ill with Covid-19 since arriving in Christchurch.

The director general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said yesterday it was likely the crewmen had come in contact with the virus after they were tested in their homeland and during the flight to New Zealand.

The men, who have already spent more than two weeks in managed isolation, are now unable to leave the facility until tomorrow at the earliest as a precaution.This is still under review as investigations continue.

Genomic testing had linked the first health worker, a woman in her 50s, with an infection strain from five of the sick international seaman.

The genomic results from the second infected health worker, a woman in her 20s who is a close work contact the Covid-positive woman, were expected to be released today.

There are three close household contacts connected to the two women at the centre of the newest transmission scare, including a teenager who attends Cashmere High School, and all are in self-isolation at home.

With a new community outbreak in the Garden City Cantabrians have been lining up at testing stations.An additional site has been set up at Princess Margaret Hospital to cater to the demand.

Yesterday health officials urged people who had shopped at The Chemist Warehouse late Friday afternoon to get tested after it was revealed the second woman to test positive for Covid had been shopping at South City Mall while asymptomatic.

However, because the woman was in the store for around 10 minutes and didn’t have any close contact with other people during their time there, the visit was regarded as very low risk and a casual exposure event.

Health officials said there were 1615 confirmed cases in New Zealand.

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