Access to healthcare in managed isolation: minister

Health Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed people in managed isolation facilities have access to mental health support and primary healthcare.

Hipkins was joined by Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, who revealed there were no new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today.

Hipkins said he had visited a managed isolation facility, the Grand Mecure, this morning. He said he had not spoken to returnees for obvious reasons, he said.

A 19-page booklet was being provided to those arriving to the facilities, he said. They were also able to access mental health support and primary healthcare.

Staffing levels at facilities would change from day to day, as needs change in facilities, Hipkins said.

"There is a nurse at every facility every day ... staffing levels are managed in each region."

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, back from leave, said there were no new cases to report in managed isolation or quarantine facilities.

He said it has now been 73 days since the last case was acquired locally from an unknown source.

New Zealand's confirmed case total remains at 1194, which is the number reported to the World Health Organisation.

There were no new recovered cases, Dr Bloomfield said. So there are still 25 active cases in the country - none of which required hospital-level care.

Discussing NZ's Covid-19 testing strategy, Dr Bloomfield said there were three key groups being tested.

The first group was returnees being tested on day 3 and 12 during the 14-day isolation period in facilities or at any time if they were symptomatic.

"The mandatory 14 days in managed isolation is again the mainstay of protection at the border, the addition of testing twice during the visit or stay provides that extra security," Dr Bloomfield said.

The second group being tested is people out in the community with respiratory conditions, and the third group is people working either in managed isolation facilities or at the border, he said.

This week he said that would be rolled out to include staff working at airports.

There were 1043 tests processed yesterday, which is expected to increase this week.

Yesterday there was one new case of Covid-19 in managed isolation - a woman in her 20s who arrived in New Zealand on 4 July from Rome, via Doha and Sydney.

She was a close contact of an earlier case.

The last time the country recorded no new cases was on 4 July. All of the new cases in the past few weeks have been caught in managed isolation.

Covid-19 is surging worldwide, with the World Health Organisation reporting a record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours.

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