Covid update: Five new border cases in MIQ

Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield. Photo: NZ Herald
Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield. Photo: NZ Herald

There are 5 new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation to report today. One border-related case reported last night has also been officially added to today’s tally.

There are no new cases in the community, the Ministry  of Health (MoH) has confirmed.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 78. The total number of confirmed cases is 2049.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,783,178. 

The air crew member who returned a positive Covid test yesterday after a swab on Saturday has also been officially added to the tally.

She received a Covid-19 vaccination shot last week.

"The vaccine requires two doses and takes around two weeks until it begins to provide protection. The air crew member has had the first dose. The second dose is given at least 21 days after the first," the MoH said.

"It is not possible the crew member caught Covid-19 from this vaccine as it does not contain any live, dead or deactivated virus.

"The vaccine doesn’t cause people who have had it to test positive for Covid-19."

She spent most of her time at home last week under Auckland's alert level 3 lockdown but she had been to the Auckland Airport Countdown last Wednesday. It is now a "location of interest".

Anyone who was at the Auckland Airport Countdown store last Wednesday, March 3, between 12.07pm and 1.22pm - is being asked to monitor their health for the next 10 days (until March 17).

If they feel unwell or develop symptoms, they should contact Healthline on 0800 358 5454 and get tested and stay at home until a negative test result is received.

The woman's partner played golf yesterday with several friends at Remuera Golf Club but he has subsequently tested negative, along with two other household members.

The crew member arrived in Auckland on February 28 on a flight from Tokyo - 14 fellow crew members are isolating and being retested.

The Ministry of Health said today the most likely transmission scenario being investigated by health staff is that the air crew member was exposed overseas and therefore, most likely was either incubating, or infectious with, Covid-19 before being vaccinated later in the week.

Ardern told TVNZ today that genome sequencing of the case was expected over the next 24 hours.

And the Ministry of Health was considering whether there needed to be more restrictions on international crew.

"We are going through a process ... of whether we need to up the ante on different countries."

Under Covid rules, air crew members are required to undergo Covid-19 testing every seven days.

All Air New Zealand air crew returning to New Zealand after flying on "higher-risk" routes need to self-isolate in a prearranged hotel for 48 hours. Los Angeles and San Francisco are currently designated as higher-risk routes. Japan is not considered a high-risk route.

Once they have returned a negative test, they can leave the hotel.

The crew member has been moved to the Auckland quarantine facility at Jet Park. The individual's three household family members have already been tested on Sunday and the results were all negative, says the Ministry of Health.

Fourteen other air crew on the same flight as the latest case were being contacted, isolated and retested, the ministry said on Sunday night.

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