New Zealand has successfully reduced its active cases of Covid-19 to just one, with a further seven people recovering from the virus in the last 24 hours.
Auckland is now the only area of New Zealand with a remaining active case after four regions announced they were 100 per cent cleared of the virus this week.
The active case is listed as being the one remaining active case from the St Margaret’s Hospital and Rest Home cluster in Te Atatu.
The person is in their 50s and is listed as being in Auckland.
According to the Ministry of Health’s website, an active case means a person has not fully recovered from the virus, but does not mean they are infectious.
Despite the one remaining case from the one cluster, the Ministry of Health has only closed three of the 16 clusters. According to the ministry, a cluster cannot be closed until two 28-day incubation periods have been completed from the last date the final active case is virus free and has completed their isolation period.
Nor does the low number mean the Government will look at moving to Alert Level 1 any time soon. Last week the Prime Minister revealed they would look at moving once three full transmission cycles without community transmission of the virus has passed.
The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield is also not ruling out a second wave in New Zealand, speaking yesterday about the virus’ long tail and the ongoing testing to find any hidden cases.
“It’s very hard for New Zealand to say we’re on a pathway to eradicate a virus that clearly is still incredibly prevalent and growing in prevalence offshore,” he said in his daily briefing.
“We are very interested in opening up our borders more and more and in that case elimination remains a strategy because it’s going to be a prolonged effort.”
With the borders looking more than likely to be where the next case of Covid-19 enters the country, Dr Bloomfield urged the pubic to remain viligant.
“We need to continue the hard work we’ve all put in to ensure we continue to maintain our zero cases, our ongoing downward trajectory, and that we don’t allow a second peak to occur.”
Dr Bloomfield’s comments come as scientists in New Zealand are about to begin a study on an antibody blood test to detect if there are any missing cases of Covid-19.
This could see the number of confirmed cases rise if it detects that a number of people in the community have had mild cases of Covid-19 or have been exposed to the virus. The test, however, doesn’t show if a person currently has the virus.
According to RNZ, the results of the study will be out in the next couple of months.
Since the first case was recorded in New Zealand on February 28, 1504 people have be diagnosed with Covid-19, including 350 probable cases. Twenty-two lost their lives to the virus, while 1481 have recovered.