Two new Covid cases from Pakistan, Dublin

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 Jul 2020, 1:39PM
Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will provide today's case numbers update.
Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will provide today's case numbers update.

Two new Covid cases from Pakistan, Dublin

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 15 Jul 2020, 1:39PM

There are two new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today.

Both cases are in managed isolation and tested positive on day three of their stay.

The first case is a man in his 60s who arrived from Pakistan on July 10. He is at the Sudima Hotel in Rotorua.

The second case is a woman in her 50s who arrived on July 10 from Dublin. She is staying at the same hotel.

There are currently 27 active cases, director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

None of these patients require hospital care.

A total of 2061 tests were completed nationally yesterday.

Bloomfield said that updated advice was also issued to health professionals yesterday about testing in the community, including testing people at higher risk of complications, including the elderly with respiratory issues.

The updated advice included that just a throat swab was an acceptable test to use on this group of people.

Bloomfield said those waiting on test results at an Auckland managed isolation facility were delivered last night. He said the results weren't missing, but they had taken a little longer to process.

Bloomfield said testing and contact tracing were the pillars of avoiding future lockdowns, and it was important for people to keep good records of movements to enable contact tracing

Health Minister Chris Hipkins said if anyone was recommended to have a Covid test he strongly encouraged them to do so.

Elimination was still the Government's goal and breaking the chain of transmission was uppermost in its strategy to keep the country free from Covid.

Hipkins said a test of the contact tracing initiative would be undertaken by a district health board by the end of August.

"We can't be complacent and we do need to be prepared. If [an outbreak] were to happen there were not enough New Zealanders using the app.

"Please step up your efforts, scan wherever you go and keep track of your movements."

Hipkins said he wanted everybody in New Zealand to be using the Covid Tracer app.

There was a degree of complacency when it came to tracking movements electronically.

"Life is back to normal for the bulk of New Zealanders and it's not front of mind for people. My message is now is the time to be vigilant and use it."

Hipkins was not ruling out making poster display and app use compulsory.

There was now the ability to retrospectively add information about where you had visited, which was a significant improvement to the app.

PM warns of local lockdown if Covid community outbreak

Today's briefing comes after a major announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this morning, when she outlined the national response should there be a future outbreak of Covid-19 in the community.

The pandemic response framework would see separate regions move up alert levels to try and contain the spread.

Ardern revealed how relevant agencies would be called on to create regional borders, with travel restricted by roadblocks.

Police would be the "first port of call" in terms of enforcement.

The "regions" could be variously applied to apartment buildings, suburbs or a city.

It comes as the confirmed number of cases nears 13.2 million worldwide and a new wave of community transmission rocks Victoria, Australia.

With just one new case yesterday detected in a person who arrived from overseas and tested positive on her second week test, New Zealand will learn if any others who have recently returned are carrying the virus.

It's a nervous wait for those controversially deported from Australia and now housed at the Ramada Suites hotel in Auckland, with guards from Sydney's Villawood detention in isolation after going to a pub that is at the centre of a Covid-19 outbreak.

There are now 1195 people who have tested positive for coronavirus since the outbreak was detected in New Zealand in March.

At the moment there are 25 people, all newly returned from overseas, in quarantine who have tested positive for Covid-19. None are in hospital. It has been 74 days since there was a case of community transmission with the last cluster monitored by health agencies closed earlier this month.