Mattina Covid case taken to Southland Hospital

The Mattina is the third vessel in New Zealand waters to have an outbreak of the coronavirus on...
The Mattina is the third vessel in New Zealand waters to have an outbreak of the coronavirus on board. Photo: Karen Pasco
There are no new cases of Covid-19 in the community and five new cases in managed isolation today however one mariner from the ship docked in Bluff has been taken to hospital in Invercargill.

The Ministry of Health said the five cases in MIQ flew from the UK, UAE, Fiji and one undisclosed location.

The Mattina remains in quarantine in Bluff and is inaccessible by the public.

One of the mariners on board who has tested positive for Covid-19 has been taken to Southland Hospital and is in a stable condition, the MoH said.

"The transfer was done in a carefully planned and co-ordinated way, using all appropriate Infection, Prevention and Control protocols, working with St John Ambulance and other hospital staff, under the guidance of Southern DHB Medical Officers of Health."

Two previously reported historical cases, associated with the Playa Zahara fishing vessel, have now been reclassified as ‘not a case’. Neither case meets the current Covid-19 case definition.

As a result, these cases have been removed from our total cases count and our historical cases tally.

The Playa Zahara has now departed Lyttelton Port. All crew members have recovered and a deep clean on the vessel has been carried out. 

15 of the 20 crew members are now back aboard the Viking Bay, which remains in quarantine at Queens Wharf in Wellington.

Five of the crew members remain in managed isolation in Wellington. 

The number of active cases in New Zealand is 46.

Since 1 January 2021, there have been 107 historical cases, out of a total of 694 cases.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is five.   

Our total number of confirmed cases is 2511.

Update on patient from Fiji

Health authorities have approved a formal request for the transfer and treatment of a patient from Fiji who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Ministry’s approval follows agreement by the metro-Auckland DHBs to treat the patient, and a transfer plan approved by a Medical Officer of Health from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service and agreed to by New Zealand Air Ambulance Service.

The plan takes into consideration the safety of both the patient and the crew who will be transporting the patient.

The metro-Auckland DHBs are working in an extremely busy and dynamic environment, due in part to higher than normal presentations of RSV and winter illness. The receiving hospital is yet to be confirmed, and will be determined by the treatment required by the patient and the capacity in the respective Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

There are appropriate isolation and infection prevention and control plans in place at all the metro-DHB hospitals to accommodate this patient.

The approval follows a request for specialist treatment in New Zealand. Requests for medical treatment in New Zealand from overseas jurisdictions, particularly in the Pacific, are common. Every request is considered, carefully taking into account factors such as the clinical needs of the patient, whether safe transport can be arranged and the availability of care in New Zealand.

While this request was initially declined for capacity reasons, the metro-Auckland DHB ICUs have now confirmed that treatment can be provided. The region will continue to work closely together to manage capacity issues.

The medevac flight left this morning and is due to return this afternoon.

The Ministry of Health has an obligation to protect a patient’s privacy and is not able to provide further details. 

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