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Three new cases of Covid-19 community transmission today, and six historical cases

New Zealand has reported three new cases of Covid-19 community transmission today, and for the first time ever six historical cases in the Waikato linked to a traveller from Italy. 

Source: 1 NEWS

None of the new cases are connected to the Auckland cluster.

They are instead members of a family who were on a Christchurch to Auckland chartered flight, which was first revealed over the weekend to have resulted in infections. 

They have been self-isolating over the last three days, health officials said.

The Ministry of Health provided the latest update in a statement this afternoon.

The case of the man who left a managed isolation facility in Christchurch after testing negative for Covid-19 twice, later to test positive in Auckland, is still under investigation. 

The Ministry of Health says there were 86 people on the charter flight.

All 86 have been contacted and are either in the process of being tested or have been tested, and 63 have tested negative.

In tracing the man’s history and how he became infected, health officials say one of two remaining cases from his earlier Delhi-Fiji flight has now been sequenced genomically and been shown to be a close match. The second result is still pending.

Historical cases

There are six historical cases today, which are linked to a traveller from Italy. The Ministry of Health says at the time of infection they didn't meet the case definition for testing for people with defined symptoms who had travelled from or transited through China.

One is a confirmed case dating back to February and five are probable historical cases connected to the case also dating back to February. 

The historical cases are all linked in the Waikato and present no risk to the public.

The Ministry of Health confirms the infection occurred in late February after the person was exposed to an infected person from Italy - another family member. 

At the time the family member was visiting New Zealand, they had symptoms consistent with the virus, and the wider household then also became sick.

Italy had not at that point been identified as a country of concern which meant the New Zealand household wasn't tested.

Today’s historical confirmed case is a man who recently developed a sore throat and sought testing. The weak positive result, combined with serology test results and case history, is consistent with an old infection.

At this stage, only the man will be counted as a confirmed case as he has returned a weak positive result on the PCR test. The other family members will be recorded as probable cases.

The Ministry of Health says the infected family member from Italy is effectively now the first case they are aware of in New Zealand, as the person has reported having symptoms on arrival on 21 February, a week before the previously first reported case on 28 February.

There are 37 people isolating in the Auckland quarantine facility from the community, which includes 17 people who have tested positive for the virus and their household contacts.

Three people are in hospital with Covid-19 – one each at Auckland City, Middlemore and North Shore hospitals. All three patients are in isolation on a general ward.

There are now 62 active cases in New Zealand. Of those, 28 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 34 are community cases.

New Zealand's total number of Covid-19 cases is now 1468.