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Bloomfield 'confident' NZ won't move up Covid-19 alert levels after new community case

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says he's becoming "increasingly confident" the latest Covid-19 community case is contained and that Kiwis will avoid another move up alert levels.

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The Director-General of Health says he's becoming "increasingly confident" the case is contained. Source: Breakfast

Speaking on TVNZ1's Breakfast today Bloomfield also praised the port worker, who'd worked in both Auckland and Taranaki in the past two weeks, for seeking a test after becoming ill.

The man was regularly tested as part of border testing of people working in the shipping industry and had tested negative to Covid-19 on October 2.

However, he became ill on Friday then tested positive Saturday afternoon. The case was announced at a 1pm press conference Sunday.

Yesterday, Bloomfield said the man's infection has likely come from the border.

He said genome sequencing had revealed the strain of Covid-19 the man was infected with had not been seen in New Zealand before. Work is underway to try and match the genome to other strains in the global database.

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Dr Ashley Bloomfield believes yesterday’s case came from a cargo ship which travelled from Brisbane. Source: 1 NEWS

"We've now got the test results on the eight close contacts of the person, including flatmates, workmate and a couple of people that he interacted with at the hotels in New Plymouth. All those tests are negative," Bloomfield told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

"The other 21 close contacts are still onboard the ship off shore Napier. They haven't been tested yet but obviously they're in a very contained environment so there's no risk to anyone else on shore."

A cargo ship that a man worked on before testing positive for Covid-19 is anchoring at sea, waiting for clearance to dock at Napier Port.

"It's a good example of the system working and this is how we would want it to work and avoid having to go up alert levels to help us get control, so all our systems seem to be doing well at the moment," Bloomfield said.

However, health officials are now urgently reviewing port procedures and the testing of transiting crew members.

"We will look at the end-to-end process. It may be there's something we can do to strengthen the testing regime but it may be that there are other measures that would be even more effective so we'll keep open minded about that," he said.

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Dr Ashley Bloomfield says the infection is from the border and not from the community. Source: 1 NEWS