Queenstown coronavirus patient 'well-known', part of film crew

What seemed inevitable has finally happened. The first positive Covid-19 test result has been confirmed in New Zealand’s tourism capital.

A Danish woman has tested positive for the coronavirus in Queenstown, becoming the first case in the South Island and the eighth in New Zealand.

It comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a raft of new regulations on Saturday aimed at slowing the spread of the virus in New Zealand.

People arriving from any country, excluding the Pacific islands, are now required to self-isolate for 14 days, and she encouraged all New Zealanders to avoid non-essential travel overseas.

As well as affecting thousands of people’s travel plans, the move is expected to significantly affect Kiwis’ jobs and New Zealand economy.

The Ministry of Health said the woman, in her 30s, spent a night at Lakes District Hospital after receiving a positive result.

She was recovering well after being discharged, and would continue her recovery in self-isolation while being monitored daily by health officials.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces the Government's latest moves to control the spread of...
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces the Government's latest moves to control the spread of Covid-19. Photo: Getty Images
Director-general of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield confirmed the case in a media briefing yesterday afternoon. An Australian man visiting New Zealand has also tested positive for coronavirus and was now self-isolating in a Wellington hotel room.

The woman arrived in Auckland on flight QR926 from Doha last Tuesday, and flew from Auckland to Christchurch on Jetstar flight JQ225, arriving at 8am the same day.

Dr Bloomfield said public health staff were carrying out "contact tracing" on the infected woman’s flights, and were requesting close contacts to stay in self-isolation for 14 days from the date of potential exposure.

The Otago Daily Times understands the woman is a member of a production crew filming a Danish family of four who are visiting the resort.

The woman, who travelled with the production crew from Christchurch to Queenstown in a rental vehicle, felt unwell when she arrived and presented to the Queenstown Medical Centre’s town centre clinic in Isle St.

The family members that are the subject of the filming are also in isolation, and spent yesterday in at least three locations in the resort.

A member of the family, who spoke briefly to the ODT, said she was "well-known in her country" and did not want to be identified.

She was with her partner and two young children.

Queenstown Medical Centre chief executive Ashley Light said those in the clinic at the time the woman presented had been contacted by public health officials during a 24-hour period over the weekend.

"That is why there was the delay between the case being diagnosed and the announcement."

He urged anybody who had symptoms of Covid-19 to call Healthline and wait on the phone for however long it took to get through.

"Don’t give up, stay on the line — if they turn up to a clinic anywhere in the country without a prior arranged appointment, they are putting themselves and others at more risk."

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said people in self-isolation could call a helpline to register and advise of any requirements or welfare needs.

The council’s emergency management team would continue to work with the Southern District Health Board and Ministry of Health to respond to any emerging risks in the district.

The situation was also a timely reminder for accommodation providers to think through how they would manage a guest or guests who were required to self-isolate, Mr Boult said.

He recommended they prepared some simple guidelines based on Ministry of Health advice and have them translated for guests. — Additional reporting Matthew McKew

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