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Man tests positive for Covid-19 after completing 14-day isolation stay with two negative tests

There are two new cases of community-transmitted Covid-19 in New Zealand today, the Ministry of Health says, as well as two new cases in a managed isolation facility.

Source: 1 NEWS

No media conference was held today, but the latest update was provided at 1pm via email.

The two community cases are household contacts of the case reported yesterday, which is not connected to the Auckland cluster.

The case reported yesterday is a recent returnee who arrived in New Zealand from India on August 27 and completed managed isolation.

He returned two negative tests at the facility in Christchurch before returning home to Auckland on September 11.

The ministry says the returnee started to develop symptoms on September 16 and returned a positive test.

He and his household contacts are self-isolating and all close contacts have been identified, tested and isolated.

The ministry says genomic sequencing of the man's case is consistent with two confirmed cases from the same flight from India that landed in New Zealand on August 27.

They say it is possible the man was infected during the flight home and has had an "extremely long incubation period".

"There is evidence that in rare instances the incubation period can be up to 24 days," they said in a statement today.

"This person developed symptoms 21 days after he arrived in New Zealand. If this is the case, it sits well outside the standard incubation period of the virus."

The man could have also been infected during the flight from Christchurch to Auckland, the ministry says.

Those on that flight with the man are currently being contacted and assessed as a precautionary measure and to exclude them as the source of infection.

"This case is another example of the tricky nature of the virus, and a reminder that anyone who has been through a managed isolation facility should remain very aware of their health," the ministry says.

Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms are being urged to get tested and to self-isolate while awaiting results as these people did.

The news comes as Cabinet is set to decide alert levels tomorrow.

Two new cases as well in managed isolation

One man in his 30s returning from London on September 16 tested positive on day three testing in managed isolation. 

Another man in his 20s who arrived from India via Singapore on September 12 has also tested positive. He was moved into Auckland quarantine as a close contact of a confirmed case despite testing negative on his day three test. 

There are 47 people isolating in the Auckland quarantine facility from the community. Twenty of those have tested positive for Covid-19 and their household contacts.

Three people are in hospital with the virus. One person is in Auckland City, one at Middlemore and another at North Shore hospital. None are in ICU.

Since August 12, 3,916 close contacts of cases have been identified, of which 3,912 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and we are in the process of contacting the rest.

Our total number of active cases is 71. Thirty-six are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 35 are community cases.