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One new imported Covid-19 case recorded in New Zealand today

There is one new case of Covid-19 recorded in New Zealand today, in managed isolation. 

File picture. Source: istock.com

The Ministry of Health reported the numbers via statement today, confirming there were no new cases in the community today.

Today's case arrived from Kenya via Dubai on October 7. They tested positive at routine testing around day 12 of their stay in a managed isolation facility in Auckland. They have been transferred to Auckland's quarantine facility. 

Five previously reported cases are now considered to have recovered, bringing the total number of active cases in New Zealand to 33.

The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand is 1531.

Yesterday, laboratories completed 2715 tests, bringing the total number of Covid-19 tests completed to date to 1,034,603.

The port worker case

Yesterday, the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said a port worker who was reported to have contracted Covid-19 two days ago likely got the virus from “a new border incursion”, according to genome sequencing. 

The case was initially reported as potentially coming from the community. 

There are 30 community close contacts identified in relation to the port worker case, and all have been contacted and are self-isolating, the Ministry of Health said today.

All the test results returned from close and casual contacts of the case announced are negative to date.

The strain of the man's virus had not been seen in New Zealand before, and Bloomfield confirmed the case was not connected to Auckland's August cluster.

The Ministry of Health included an update today on the ships the port worker had worked in.

Authorities said the Sofrana Surville is suspected as being the source of infection. The ship circuits around Brisbane, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and New Zealand. It arrived in Auckland on October 13 to collect eight crew members.

The ship is on its way to Brisbane, and officials are following up with authorities in Australia regarding the health of the crew.

Australian authorities are conducting testing and serology on all 19 crew members, and will conduct genome sequencing if any crew return a positive result.

Investigations into the ship’s activities while in New Zealand found there are 11 people considered to have had contact with the ship while it was in Auckland.

All are being followed up, tested and isolated if required.

A public health unit in the Bay of Plenty is continuing work to identify people who boarded the ship while it was in Tauranga.

The Ken Rei remains anchored off Napier. All 21 crew onboard are being treated as close contacts of the port worker. The man who tested positive worked on the Ken Rei on October 14 at the Port of Taranaki.

The Ministry of Health said all 21 were getting daily health checks, and none had reported any Covid-19 symptoms so far. They have been symptom-free for seven days.

Officials are making arrangements for the ship's next steps with public health units, port authorities and the ship's owners.

Moana Chief - where the man had worked on Wednesday - is still under investigation. But, authorities don't believe the ship is the likely source of infection because it only operates in New Zealand and only has New Zealand-based crew.

But, testing of the Moana Chief crew will take place tomorrow to rule it out as the source of infection, authorities said.