No new community cases; 3 cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 22 Apr 2021, 1:26PM
Seventeen workers who clean planes at Auckland Airport are now in self-isolation after a fellow cleaner tested positive for Covid this week. Photo / Alex Burton
Seventeen workers who clean planes at Auckland Airport are now in self-isolation after a fellow cleaner tested positive for Covid this week. Photo / Alex Burton

No new community cases; 3 cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 22 Apr 2021, 1:26PM

The number of close contacts of the aircraft cleaner who contracted Covid-19 after working inside a jet that had carried a person harbouring the infection has risen to 31.

There are no new community cases of Covid-19 to report today but three in managed isolation, according to the Ministry of Health.

One of the new cases arrived in New Zealand on April from India and tested positive on day 17 after coming into contact with another case, reported on April 7.

Another new case arrived from Jordan on April 20, testing positive immediately after showing symptoms.

The third case's origin has not been determined, but they arrived in New Zealand on April 17 and tested positive on day 3.

All three are in managed isolation/quarantine in Auckland.

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said the close contacts of the aircraft cleaner grew because the person had worked three shifts during their infectious period with a number of colleagues.

Public health officials have now identified 22 colleagues as close contacts, up from 17 yesterday.

Of the 31 close contacts, 14 have returned negative test results to date.

All close contacts are being communicated with and asked to self-isolate, monitor symptoms and undergo required testing.

Four previously reported cases have now recovered. The total number of active cases in New Zealand today is 80. Two previously reported cases have been reclassified as not cases, bringing the total Covid-19 cases overall to 2244.

Officials earlier revealed genome sequencing connected the aircraft cleaner's infection to a traveller from Ethiopia who arrived in the country on April 10. The pair both had the identical UK strain.

According to border case details the infected Ethiopian traveller tested positive on day three of routine swabs.

There are still just three locations of interest including Movenpick Dominion Rd, New Lynn Bunnings and the foodcourt at Westfield St Luke’s mall.

All were visited by the ill worker last Saturday.

The ministry advised people who were in the same place at the same time to monitor symptoms for the next fortnight, regarding fellow customers as casual contacts.

Yesterday Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins defended the airport protocols that allowed the cleaner to work in the airport's red zone one day and the green zone on another shift.

The cleaner, who works for Menzies, is the latest of 15 border-related cases since July last year.

On Wednesday, 5173 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday was 4096 tests.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,987,958.

In Auckland on Saturday four community testing centres at Northcote, Henderson, Balmoral and Wiri will be open. The Balmoral community testing centre will also be open Sunday and Monday.

Testing is also available at after-hours general practices and urgent care clinics over the long weekend.

The NZ COVID Tracer app now has 2,792,288 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 253,225,741 and users have created 9,473,457 manual diary entries. There have been 764,561 scans in the last 24 hours to 1pm yesterday.

The Ministry's next update will be at 1pm on Friday, April 23.