Christchurch quarantine worker has Covid

The Sudima Hotel, Christchurch Airport. PHOTO: ODT FILES
The Sudima Hotel, Christchurch Airport. PHOTO: ODT FILES
A person who has worked looking after a cohort of Russian and Ukrainian fishermen in a quarantine facility in Christchurch has tested positive for Covid-19.

The Ministry of Health confirmed late yesterday what it termed a "managed isolation case in the community".

Earlier yesterday, the ministry reported four new Covid-19 cases, all in managed isolation.

The person tested negative on Thursday as part of routine testing of staff, but became symptomatic on Saturday, a ministry spokesman said.

"They sought a further test on Sunday and a positive result was received today [Monday].

"The person is now in isolation at home and reports taking care to isolate themselves as soon as they developed symptoms."

So far 31 of the sailors in the Christchurch Sudima Hotel facility have tested positive for Covid-19, the latest being confirmed yesterday.

Sailors who were regarded as low risk were eligible to leave managed isolation today, but the ministry last night extended their quarantine by at least a day as a result of the staff member’s positive diagnosis.

Precautionary measures for the sailors have included additional tests - up to four tests for some individuals - and a longer-than-usual stay in managed isolation.

• The number of places available for managed isolation for Christmas are dwindling and the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment has issued a warning to any overseas New Zealanders wanting to get home for the festive period.

MBIE announced yesterday its new system was now "becoming fully booked" in the lead-up to the big day.

From midnight last night it became a legal requirement for anyone wanting to get back into New Zealand to have a voucher. Without one, they will not be allowed to board, unless they have been granted an exemption.

A Managed Isolation and Quarantine spokesman said the reality was that there were a limited number of rooms available in New Zealand.

"We currently have a short-term spike in arrival numbers from November 1-12, and November 23-December 12.

"The Managed Isolation Allocation System (MIAS) is now fully booked during this period, which means there is no capacity for additional bookings in managed isolation facilities."

New Zealanders who might need to return for a funeral over the festive period were unlikely to be allowed as there were "very restrictive emergency allocation criteria".

- Additional reporting NZ Herald

 

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