Auckland, New Zealand – Just went PM Jacinda Adern of New Zealand declared victory over COVID-19 last week, 2 new cases has been confirmed.
Update from Ministry of Health
It is reported the cases are from the same family, one in her 30s, and the other person in their 40s. They both returned to New Zealand from the United Kingdom on the 7th of June.
They stayed in managed isolation but were permitted on compassionate grounds to travel to Wellington via private vehicle on the 13th of June.
There was an agreed plan in place as part of the approval process for compassionate exemption that included for the travel arrangements. They drove together to Wellington and had no contact with anyone else on the trip. They didn’t use any public facilities and they have just been with one family member since they arrived in Wellington.
Local public health staff are isolating and testing all others who may be at risk of exposure. Apart from the one additional family member, other potential contacts include people on the flight and people who are and have been in the managed isolation in Auckland.
Contact follow up is being managed by our national close contact service at the Ministry with support from local DHBs. The testing in the managed isolation facility is already underway. Staff at the isolation facility who had contact with the women will be stood down and tested. As we do routinely, footage will be viewed from the period when those women transported to the airport to see if any border staff were in close contact with them. If that is the case, staff will also be stood down and tested.
The two are self isolating in the Wellington region. The family have requested for their privacy to be respected.
A new case is something we hoped we wouldn’t get, but it’s also something we expected and we have planned for. We have geared up our contact tracing at a local level and as well as our national testing ability so we can respond rapidly.
We know there are people continuing to come to NZ, Kiwis who are returning from countries with active community spread of COVID-19. Which is why we have the requirement for managed isolation at the border. Compassionate exemptions are only granted if there is a detailed plan for self isolation. Everyone that is granted an exemption is assumed to present a risk of COVID-19 and all precautions are taken to manage that risk. Testing and health checks in the community is part of the follow up after the 14-day period has finished.
The Ministry has great sympathy for families who are coming to terms with the death of loved ones. However, today’s news underscores the recent decision to not attend funerals or tangihanga where there may be large crowds.
Our total number of cases 1,156. We will report the additional cases to WHO.
Our combined total of confirmed and probable cases is 1,506.
There are no additional deaths to report.
There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.
Yesterday our laboratories completed 1527 tests, Bringing the total completed to date to 312,648.