A man who tested positive for Covid-19 days after leaving a managed isolation facility "should be commended", according to Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
The man had arrived from India and completed his 14-day stay in managed isolation, including returning two negative Covid-19 tests, before he fell ill.
He tested positive for Covid-19 during the weekend and has been genomically linked to other cases who had arrived from India on the same flight.
Bloomfield says the man and his family did everything right and "should be commended".
"When he developed symptoms, he sought advice quickly from Healthline, was tested, and he self-isolated, as did members of his family," he said today.
"This is exactly the sort of vigilance that will help us keep ahead of the virus, and I would like to thank him again and his family for their quick thinking, and all indications so far, is that this has prevented the virus from spreading further."
Bloomfield says all New Zealanders should remain vigilant for Covid-19 symptoms and talk to their GP or Healthline about getting tested.
As for how the man got infected, Bloomfield says they're still investigating.
"He could have been infected in India before he left and had a very long and unusual period of incubating the virus – this is rare but it can happen," he says.
Other possibilities are that he caught the virus while in the managed isolation facility in Christchurch, or from other people who had left the facility and were returning to Auckland on the same flight.
"We are not ruling out any possibilities or speculating on one or other scenario at this point, but are working to get to the bottom of it."
Two of the man's family members also tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday, while close contacts are in self-isolation.