TODAY |

New Zealand sees biggest daily spike in Covid-19 cases in over six months

The Ministry of Health has today confirmed a total of 25 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand - 23 at the border and two in the community.

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Two of today’s 25 cases are workplace contacts of an infected port worker. Eighteen others are foreign fisherman isolating in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS

The two new community cases are workplace contacts of the port worker who tested positive for the virus on the weekend, Dr Ashley Bloomfield confirmed today.

Both are now in isolation and contact tracing is underway, with their close contacts also in isolation.

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NZ had 25 new infections to report today, but things are much worse elsewhere. Source: 1 NEWS

The port worker tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday and Bloomfield notified the public of this new case on Sunday. The man had worked in ports around New Zealand, including in Auckland and Taranaki in the last few weeks.

Yesterday - in cases unrelated to the port worker - 11 Russian and Ukrainian fishermen who flew to New Zealand tested positive for Covid-19, with 14 other potential cases also being investigated.

The Ministry today confirmed that a further 18 of those fisherman had tested positive since yesterday, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases at the Sudima facility in Christchurch to 29.

The 235 fishermen were brought to New Zealand from Ukraine and Russia as critical workers by Independent Fisheries, Sealord and Maruha Nichiro.

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Dr Ashley Bloomfield provided the update from Wellington on October 21. Source: 1 NEWS

Further to those cases, five other cases were confirmed among recent arrivals today, all of which are in isolation facilities.

Those five are composed of three people who arrived from London on October 16, and two who arrived from Jordan and Malaysia on October 17.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand isolation facilities is now 56.

The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand so far is now 1556.

Yesterday, laboratories completed 6308 tests, bringing the total number of Covid-19 tests completed to date to 1,040,911.

One other case of Covid-19 was also confirmed in isolation yesterday, with no new cases in the community.

MIQ HEAD REASSURES KIWIS THAT SYSTEMS ARE WORKING

Earlier today, Air Commodore Darryn Webb, head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ), told Breakfast the detection of the cases shows our border control systems are "working absolutely as intended.

"As I've said in the past, we assume people are going to come across the border with positive cases, and this is an example of that in action," he said.

Webb said the Sudima Hotel had been specifically set aside for the fisheries workers, there were no other guests in the hotel, and it was now being used as a quarantine site.

"We've been planning this operation for many weeks now, and one of the precautions we looked at was to determine an exclusive use facility - it just didn't seem to make sense to us to have 230 or so Russian and Ukrainian fisherman with other returnees, so we've established that as a sole use facility for these fishermen."

Covid-19 (file picture). Source: istock.com

He said New Zealanders could be confident that the process of people landing in New Zealand and entering isolation was well executed.

"When anybody comes into New Zealand they are in a Level 4 environment from start to finish - so they are met, we have systems onboard buses and transfers into the facility, they are manifested there and into their rooms," he said.

"We have health checks, we have welfare support, we have security systems in place, everybody is well aware of things like hygiene, things like physical separation and the need to use PPE.

"So all of those things are the foundation stone, if you like, as to why we have confidence."