One new case in managed isolation; Source of Air NZ crew infection revealed

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Nov 2020, 1:23PM
Aucklanders have been required to wear masks on public transport for the past week. Photo / Alex Burton
Aucklanders have been required to wear masks on public transport for the past week. Photo / Alex Burton

One new case in managed isolation; Source of Air NZ crew infection revealed

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Nov 2020, 1:23PM

There is one new Covid-19 case in managed isolation.

The Ministry of Health also says that it appears the Air NZ crew member caught Covid-19 while overseas.

The cabin crew member tested positive in Shanghai on Sunday, but was re-tested when they returned to New Zealand yesterday.

"Results of genome sequencing show that the lineage of this infection is not associated with any New Zealand cases that have been sequenced, indicating international exposure is most likely," the ministry said today.

"Further test samples from close contacts of the staff member have been processed rapidly and nine results have been returned, all of which are negative."

"Because this case was first reported in China, it is officially a case in China, not New Zealand – so while we are reporting on it, it does not enter into our official count of Covid-19 cases," officials said.

"The ministry continues to investigate how this most recent confirmed COVID-19 case was contracted. Although the source of the infection is still unknown, we are continuing to take precautionary actions within New Zealand."

Auckland Regional Public Health Service is continuing to identify any locations of interest the case may have visited and any associated close contacts. Twelve close contacts have been identified to date.

The Air NZ crew member visited six shops on Friday and Saturday.

Among them was Animates Manukau, where shoppers who were there at the same time have been told to get tested and self-isolate until they return a negative test.

The ministry said fewer than ten people scanned into the business in the 50-minute window when the Air NZ staffer was in the store.

In all, there are 59 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the Government today confirmed that New Zealanders will have free access to a Covid-19 vaccine when it arrives.

The detail was included in the Speech to the Throne presented to Parliament by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy.

Reddy confirmed that the Government is working to deliver effective and free vaccines to New Zealanders as soon as they were available and safe to administer.