The head of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation is calling for an urgent review after two nurses at a Christchurch isolation facility tested positive for Covid-19.
It comes after a staff member working at the Sudima Hotel isolation facility returned a positive result on Monday. A second staff member, a close contact, tested positive for the virus yesterday.
The initial case has since been linked to a Russian and Ukrainian fishing crew which has since become a Covid-19 cluster upon their arrival in Christchurch in mid-October. Thirty-one of the 237 members of the crew have since tested positive for coronavirus.
NZNO's Kaiwhakahaere, Kerri Nuku, said the positive cases show there is "a failure somewhere along the system".
"If we want to eliminate and manage this, then we need to find out where in the system did it fail these health workers."
Nuku said we must ensure "our managed isolation is managed" and that the "systems and processes that fit around management and control of that is very sound".
"We shouldn't expect that health care workers go and then, as a result of it, they get infected. That clearly shows that somewhere along the way, there has been a breach.
"These health care workers must feel safe when they go to work and when they come home."
She said the breach must be taken seriously "and urgently call upon a review from Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Andrew Little and Health Minister Chris Hipkins to "make sure that the system isn't going to continue to fail".
"While we have two health workers today, who knows what down the track's going to look like so we need to understand right now what are the pressure points."