Covid-19: Six new MIQ Covid cases, more mariners infected

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Tue, 20 Jul 2021, 1:14PM

Covid-19: Six new MIQ Covid cases, more mariners infected

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Tue, 20 Jul 2021, 1:14PM

There are six new Covid cases in recent returnees at the border to report today.

This number includes three of the confirmed cases aboard the Mattina container ship, which is currently quarantined in Bluff.

The three other cases in managed isolation are two travellers from Fiji and one from South Korea.

The total number of active Covid cases in New Zealand is now 51.

Earlier today the Ministry of Health confirmed seven more crew members on board a container ship returned positive results last night.

It follows the confirmation that two crew members of the Mattina vessel had become infected with Covid after showing symptoms earlier.

All nine people affected, as well as eight other crew members, remain on board the Mattina; which remains in quarantine at the port in Bluff.

"Eight of the nine confirmed cases are symptomatic. They are well enough to remain on board," the ministry said in today's 1pm update.

"Health officials will be closely monitoring the health and welfare of all crew members each on a daily basis as further decisions are made.

"Health officials have determined that the only port member who had contact with the ship crew is the Southport pilot, who went aboard the ship as it entered the port.

"Pilots are required to board vessels of this size when berthing. The pilot wore appropriate PPE and is fully vaccinated."

The pilot had some contact with three crew members, but the trio had all returned negative test results, the ministry said.

"This means the harbour pilot, who has been self-isolating, is now not regarded as a close contact and will no longer be required to isolate.

"As a border worker, this person is subject to the regular border worker testing requirements."

Meanwhile the current pause on quarantine-free travel from Victoria and New South Wales will be reviewed again tomorrow, the Ministry of Health said in today's 1pm update.

Covid-struck: The Mattina container ship. (Photo / Tony des Landes)

Health authorities from the Southern District Health Board are now working to determine what the next steps for the ship will be.

"The Mattina remains in quarantine in a secure area of the port which is inaccessible to members of the public and fencing will be put up to further restrict access to ship."

The Mattina is the third vessel to pass through New Zealand waters to be struck by Covid-19.

Thirteen of the 18-strong crew of the Playa Zahara fishing vessel are now in managed isolation and quarantine in Christchurch.

Five staff remain onboard the ship and plans are in place for regular health checks for them. Plans are also in place if anyone becomes sick.

A total of 15 crew members from the Viking Bay tested positive for Covid before that.

There continues to be no reports of Covid-19 anywhere in the community in New Zealand.

Yesterday's update showed no community cases and three positive cases in managed isolation facilities.

The first person travelled on a flight from Serbia and Montenegro, via the United Arab Emirates, last Wednesday (July 14) and tested positive on the third day of their routine testing.

They are in an Auckland managed isolation and quarantine facility.

The second returnee touched down in Auckland on Friday (July 16) from an undisclosed origin - via Singapore - and tested positive on their first routine test.

The last traveller is from Eritrea, Eastern Africa, who arrived here on Saturday (July 17).

Health officials reported yesterday that one previously reported case has now recovered and the number of active cases in the country stands at 47.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases found at the border is seven. The total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand, to date, is 2461.