Updated 1.15 pm

New border-related Covid case; 23 new cases in MIQ

A new border-related positive Covid case has been announced - a 24-year-old who works at the Grand Millennium MIQ facility in Auckland.

Director-general of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield is giving details of the case now - and has also revealed 23 new Covid cases in MIQ today.

The new border-related positive case was a man who had a sore throat four days ago. He has not been vaccinated.

The person lives alone but Auckland Regional Public Health is investigating contacts with the man's neighbours.

He travels to work with a colleague, who is being tested. The colleague has been fully vaccinated.

The man worked at Easter, but was not at work or in contact with anyone yesterday. He isolated at home overnight and was being transferred to Jet Park today.

Genome sequencing has started but it will not be completed until tomorrow afternoon.

An assessment of the ventilation in the Grand Millennium was already in progress before the worker was infected.

The border worker, a security contractor, would have been offered a vaccination but Bloomfield did not have details on why he had not had it. His understanding was the man had not declined a vaccination.

The Grand Millennium was one of the country's larger MIQ facilities, Bloomfield said.

It is the same facility where a cleaner tested positive on March 22.

Director-general of Health Ashley Bloomfield. File photo
Director-general of Health Ashley Bloomfield. File photo

Of the 23 new cases in MIQ today, 19 are acute, Bloomfield said. He said 17 of the 19 active infections travelled from India.

The Covid-19 pandemic was "very active" around the world, Bloomfield said, which was easy to forget in New Zealand.

There was no reason to question the pre-departure tests from people arriving from India, he said.

PCR tests showed they were early onset infections.

Flights from high-risk countries

That supported the theory people were getting infected during transit in India. Rising rates of infection in India were behind the increasing rates of infection arriving.

The ministry is looking at additional measures that can be put in place in India and New Zealand to prevent transmission during flights, he said.

He said there could be a condition of isolation while awaiting pre-departure test results among other measures.

He would not rule out halting flights from India.

He said they could look at putting all people from high-risk countries in one MIQ facility.

The sequencing led Bloomfield to believe people were being infected in India before the flight and no in flight transmission had been detected yet.






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