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No new community Covid-19 cases, three at the border

There are no new Covid-19 cases in the community today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

Covid-19 test. Source: istock.com

However, there are three new Covid-19 cases in managed isolation at the border.

There is also one new historical case to report in a mariner aboard the Noble Island which arrived in the country on July 12.

The case was detected at the point of entry before being granted shore leave. The mariner is not linked to others onboard the Viking Bay, Mattina and Playa Zahara vessels. The person is currently quarantining onboard the Noble Island.

The first two cases arrived in the country on direct flights from Fiji on July 17, where they tested positive on routine day three testing. One of the cases was a contact of another case. 

The third case arrived in the country from Ghana via the United Arab Emirates on July 20, testing positive on routine day zero testing. 

All three cases have since been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility. 

Mattina Update

There are three new positive Covid-19 cases to report onboard the Mattina container ship at 9am today, in addition to the nine previously reported cases.

All three mariners tested positive on July 18. They remain in managed quarantine onboard the vessel in South Port, Bluff. 

One further result is currently under investigation due to a high CT value; and three more have serological evidence of past infection and therefore are not deemed infectious at this stage.

Two further positive results aboard the Mattina were reported after 9am and will be officially added to the country's case tally in tomorrow’s update, the Ministry of Health said today in a statement. 

"We are reporting these out of cycle because of the high public interest in the Mattina," the ministry said.

The three remaining crew have returned negative tests.

The health and welfare of the crew, and wider public health issues, are being overseen by Southern DHB’s Medical Officers of Health, who are working closely with maritime, port and other Government agencies.

"All crew who have tested positive will remain quarantined on board the vessel at this time, where they will maintain the minimum functions at the port," the Health Ministry said. 

"If those who tested negative return another negative test today, they will be transported to a Christchurch-based quarantine facility using a well-planned securely managed transport plan, including the use of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) protocols.

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"It is safer to manage the smaller group of negative cases, by taking them off the ship." 

Two crew members who were transported to hospital yesterday after testing positive have since returned to the vessel after a "comprehensive assessment" determined they did not require hospital-level care.

"All IPC measures were in place, including the appropriate use of PPE for the transfer to and from the hospital. The Ministry expects to have further information about the source of those infections when whole genome sequencing is completed in the next few days."

One previously reported case has now recovered, bringing the number of active cases in New Zealand to 62.

The total number of confirmed cases is now 2,479.

Yesterday, there were no new Covid-19 cases reported in New Zealand, either at the border or in the community.

Playa Zahara


None of the 16 previously reported confirmed cases from the Playa Zahara have been included in the country's case tally at this stage, as they remain under investigation to determine if they’re current or historical cases.

Nau Mai Râ travel declaration

The travel declaration system was unavailable this morning following a planned system update at 6am, according to the ministry. The database was back in action by 9.30 this morning.

The database requires quarantine-free travellers to complete the form before departing from Australia. The declaration asks the traveller for their travel plans and contact details to assist contact tracers if necessary.

While the online database was not available, quarantine-free travellers were required to manually fill in the form upon arrival in New Zealand. The information will be retrospectively added into the Nau Mai Râ database. The Government says there was no impact to travellers being permitted to travel during the outage.

Travellers from Australia 

Quarantine-free travel with South Australia remains paused. However, anyone in the state who ordinarily lives in New Zealand is able to return on a managed return flight. A negative pre-departure test taken within 72 hours of flying will be required for eligible travellers.

Quarantine-free travel with New South Wales and Victoria remains paused, and the situation in Queensland is being monitored.

Anyone who was in Victoria since July 8 is encouraged to continue to check the Victoria Health website for locations of interest which continue to be updated.

Anyone who was in Queensland since June 28 is encouraged to check the Queensland Health website for locations on interest.

People who have been at these locations at the relevant time should immediately isolate at their home or appropriate accommodation and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing.

Contact tracing has so far identified 41 people in New Zealand who have been in locations of interest in Victoria and Queensland. Of that number, 39 have had initial tests and returned negative results; one is not yet due for a test result and the other will be followed up after being overdue.

Testing

The total number of Covid-19 tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,419,915 after 7,554 tests were processed across New Zealand yesterday.

The seven-day rolling average is 5,681.