Covid-infected WHO worker now in intensive care unit

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Fri, 30 Jul 2021, 1:15PM

Covid-infected WHO worker now in intensive care unit

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Fri, 30 Jul 2021, 1:15PM

There are no new cases of Covid-19 today and two new cases in managed isolation.

The Ministry of Health said there is also an historical case, a traveller from the Philippines, who tested positive on day 12.

This case was being investigated to check against possible transmission within the facility.

The ministry said the patient from Fiji was last night safely transported by ambulance to Middlemore Hospital, under strict infection prevention and control procedures.

Flight crew and ambulance staff used full PPE, as was regularly used to transport people arriving from overseas to hospital.

The patient remained in a dedicated, secure ICU unit.

Meanwhile, daily sampling from the New Plymouth wastewater treatment plant, along with further samples from sites around the Taranaki region continued this week.

There had been no subsequent detections of the virus to date. Community testing was also continuing, said the ministry.

A second Covid-19 positive mariner is now in Southland Hospital after a second transfer yesterday.

The ministry said both were in a stable condition,

The transfers were done in a carefully planned and co-ordinated way, using all appropriate Infection, Prevention and Control protocols, working with St John Ambulance and other hospital staff, under the guidance of Southern DHB Medical Officers of Health.

The Mattina remained in quarantine in Bluff and remained inaccessible by the public.

In Wellington, four crew from the Viking Bay remained in managed isolation.

Deep cleaning of the vessel was being undertaken in coming days and the vessel was expected to leave its quarantine berth at Queens Wharf next week.

There are now 45 cases of Covid in New Zealand.

Mass vaccination starts

The Government's first mass vaccination campaign is under way in South Auckland as a woman undergoes lifesaving treatment for Covid-19 at Middlemore Hospital.

The United Nations staffer in her 60s lies in the hospital's intensive care unit after a mercy dash yesterday afternoon from Fiji, where she contracted the deadly infection.

This morning, people started filling the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau - with 16,000 people scheduled to get their first Pfizer injection over the coming three days.

Last night a medevac flight landed at Auckland Airport, where a waiting ambulance ferried the patient to hospital.

The transfer request was initially declined by New Zealand health authorities on "clinical grounds" but the Ministry of Health later confirmed the approval followed agreement by metro-Auckland District Health Boards to treat the patient.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark, also a former United Nations Development Programme boss, said the woman was heading to Middlemore Hospital.

Clark said the woman's mercy flight had been requested by the UN.

"I have total confidence in Middlemore Hospital and its first-class ICU. They have done an outstanding job throughout the pandemic and indeed during all emergencies to which they respond," Clark said.

"In this case, Counties Manukau and Middlemore have stepped up to respond to a UN request, which will be hugely appreciated by the UN and the patient and her family. NZ is the first port of call for Medevac by the UN in the Pacific and all costs are met in full by it.

"Many people worked together to make this Medevac possible. Particular thanks are due to Counties Manukau DHB and ICU at Middlemore."

Meanwhile, it has emerged there have been bubble breaches at a quarantine facility where infected crew members from the Viking Bay had been transferred.

An MIQ spokesperson said there were two instances of breaches by mariners the day they entered the Grand Mercure hotel in Wellington on July 13.

An MIQ spokesperson said the first bubble breach occurred when a mariner entered another mariner's room.

The second was when a mariner knocked on another mariner's room, and an item was then passed from one to another.

The breaches were detected by security camera, with the mariners spoken to by interpreters about the importance of adhering to infection control measures.

Five of the 20-strong Viking Bay crew remain in quarantine.

Yesterday, health officials said there were five new cases in managed isolation, with two people who arrived from United Arab Emirates testing positive on day 13 in managed isolation.

There are presently 46 cases in New Zealand.