Four new Covid cases in MIQ, none in community

Publish Date
Tue, 9 Mar 2021, 1:43PM
New Zealand will learn if the community outbreak and latest border-related case that have emerged in recent weeks remain contained. Photo / File
New Zealand will learn if the community outbreak and latest border-related case that have emerged in recent weeks remain contained. Photo / File

Four new Covid cases in MIQ, none in community

Publish Date
Tue, 9 Mar 2021, 1:43PM

The air hostess who tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday has the Russian variant of the virus.

There are no new cases in the community today.

All test results received from the air crew in the latest March case have returned negative results, with one still outstanding.

More than half the remaining contacts have returned negative tests and all 35 contacts from the vaccination centre have been contacted and given public health advice, said the ministry.

Whole genome sequencing of the air crew member has identified the B.1.1.317 variant of the virus. Unlike other variants, including those first identified in the UK and South Africa, this variant is not currently classified as a variant of concern.

The B.1.1.317 strain is known as the Russian variant. Two people in Queensland recently tested positive for this strain.

A range of possible infection sources of the border-related case were still being looked into.

The woman, who tested positive after a routine surveillance swab, has been transferred to Auckland's Jet Park quarantine facility. The health ministry said three household contacts have tested negative but remain in isolation at home as a precaution.

The woman had remained symptom free, with public health staff conservatively considering that she might have been infectious since her last negative test on February 28 when she arrived back in New Zealand.

Before the flight attendant's results had been returned, the woman's partner had played a round of golf at an Auckland golf course. As a precaution it was closed for a day for deep cleaning.

At this stage there is only one location of interest, a Countdown supermarket at Auckland airport.

Health authorities earlier said a health appointment the woman went to was also being assessed as a potential place of exposure. All those attending the same clinic at the same time were being identified and contacted.

It emerged yesterday the woman had a Pfizer vaccination shot on Wednesday.

New MIQ cases

There are four new positive cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation today. One of the four is historical and deemed not infectious.

The latest infection cases are from India, and arrived in the country on March 6 and 7.

One additional case from the United Kingdom has been added to the tally, dating back to December 17.

The health ministry said the traveller arrived in Auckland on December 13 and was in Jet Park Quarantine facility at the time. The case was considered historical and not deemed infectious.

There are now 79 active Covid cases in New Zealand.

Since the outbreak started a year ago there have been 2,409 confirmed cases in New Zealand.

1 million Covid tests

Today marks a significant milestone for the northern region – three metro Auckland DHBs and Northland DHB – with the one millionth Covid-19 tests recorded overnight.

The ministry said testing had played a pivotal role in protecting our border and managing outbreaks in the region.

Health officials also offered a word of thanks to everyone in Northland and Auckland who had responded to the call to be tested over the past year. In Auckland more than 110,000 tests had been completed since February 14 in response to the most recent outbreak.

"Thank you to everyone in Northland and Auckland who is involved in testing – including in our community testing centres, primary care providers, urgent care clinics, MIQ facilities and laboratories," said the ministry.

Health officials also offered a word of thanks to everyone in Northland and Auckland who had responded to the call to be tested over the past year. In Auckland more than 110,000 tests had been completed since February 14 in response to the most recent outbreak.