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'We must not be complacent,' NZ experts warn in wake of Melbourne's Covid outbreak

Experts in New Zealand are warning Kiwis not to be complacent about Covid-19 in the wake of nine community cases in Melbourne. 

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Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles and physicist and disease modeller Shaun Hendy want Kiwis to remain vigilant. Source: Breakfast

Genomic sequencing shows the outbreak is linked to the case of a man who contracted the virus in South Australian quarantine earlier this month.

However, health authorities in Australia are still trying to establish a "definitive link" between the man and the nine cases.

This has led New Zealand to implement a 72-hour pause in the quarantine-free travel bubble with Victoria.

Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles and physicist and disease modeller Shaun Hendy told Breakfast today that Melbourne's woes should serve as a lesson to Kiwis to remain vigilant and not assume the risk of Covid-19 had disappeared.

"There are things that we can do like the scanning ... they should just become part of our everyday life," Wiles said. 

With everyone getting sniffly this time of year, she told people to get tested if they had coronavirus symptoms. 

Wiles said one of the big worries with Melbourne's current outbreak is one of the cases being symptomatic since May 17. 

"They should have got tested on the 17th when they developed symptoms, because now they've been in the community with symptoms — so infectious — for maybe a week or more."

Hendy warned the cluster in Melbourne has the potential to grow and in turn could lead to a longer pause of the trans-Tasman bubble. 

"We could be looking at a longer pause than what we've had in the past."