Two new Covid-19 cases confirmed in New Zealand

Health officials have two new Covid-19 cases to report today, after three previous cases were announced earlier this week.

Source: 1 NEWS

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield updated media in a press conference this afternoon.

The two cases are a couple in their 20s who returned to New Zealand from Delhi, India, on repatriation flight AI1306, arriving on June 5.

They also have an infant, who has not been tested due to their age. It’s currently unknown if the infant can be considered a case. 

"They did not have any symptoms of Covid-19. There were health and welfare checks conducted every day, and those did not uncover any symptoms or issues," Dr Bloomfield said.

The pair tested positive in a swabbing process on day 12 of their 14-day quarantine. 

The couple and their child have since been transferred from Auckland's Grand Millennium hotel to the Jet Park quarantine hotel, also in Auckland.

Everyone staying at the Grand Millennium hotel has, or will, undergo testing today as part of routine day three and day 12 testing, Dr Bloomfield said.

Auckland Regional Public Health is currently conducting interviews with the couple to help identify any potential other contacts who may be followed up with.

"It's time to remind everybody that we're always expecting to get new cases at our borders as Kiwis return home from overseas," he said.

Dr Bloomfield added that while the country went several weeks without any cases at the border, we are now seeing more Kiwis returning home. 

"There is still a global pandemic raging offshore," he said. "And only overnight, the director-general of the World Health Organisation noted that the global pandemic is accelerating, with Thursday this week being over 150,000 new cases worldwide." 

He said interviews with the pair may uncover "where the couple is at in terms of the cycle of infection." 

"It may well be that they had the infection and it had passed before they left India and these are late, what we might call, late positive results," he said. Late cases have been reported here and overseas.

The number of confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand is now 1509.

About 7700 tests were completed yesterday, bringing the total number of tests completed to 335,167.

All of the current cases are linked to those arriving into New Zealand internationally.

On Thursday, a man in his 60s who had flown into the country on June 13 was announced as New Zealand's third confirmed case this week.

He had travelled from Pakistan, to Doha, then on to Melbourne before arriving in Auckland.

The man is not connected to the two cases previously announced this week, where two women who had arrived from the UK and were granted an exemption to travel from Auckland to Wellington to be with a dying relative.

The pair from the UK were weren't tested before leaving their isolation facility in Auckland.

The Ministry of Health has since ensured those who have left managed isolation facilities since June 9 have been tested for Covid-19, either before their departure or after.