There is one new case of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation in New Zealand today. It has been 88 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source.
Today’s case is a woman in her 20s who arrived in New Zealand on July 14 from Afghanistan via Dubai.
The woman has been staying at the Distinction Hotel in Hamilton and tested negative around day 3 of her stay. She returned a weak positive around day 12 of her stay and has since been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.
This case again reinforces why we test people twice during their time in managed isolation. The COVID-19 infection may take longer to develop in some people and a second test is an important check used to find out if a person is safe to leave managed isolation.
One previously reported case is now considered to have recovered, which means the total number of active cases in New Zealand remains at 21.
There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.
Our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now 1,207, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
Yesterday our laboratories completed 1,107 tests, of which 872 were in the community, and 235 were in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
That brings the total number of tests completed to date 457,334.
As part of our efforts to ensure we have an appropriate level of testing in the community we’ve been assisted by the results of a survey developed by the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners carried out last week.
The survey provides a useful gauge of the public response to offers of tests by GPs.
We will work closely with the College of GPs, other colleges, PHOs and DHBs to address any barriers to testing for both practitioners and people being tested.
We would like to thank the College of GPs for facilitating the survey and those that responded.
COVID-19 case in South Korea
Health officials have exchanged information with counterparts over the traveller who recently tested positive upon arrival in South Korea.
There is no evidence of any transmission in New Zealand involving this case.
The individual left Christchurch on 21 July and arrived in South Korea on 22 July after transiting through Singapore. The person was asymptomatic but returned a positive test on arrival.
After leaving New Zealand, they spent 14 hours and 20 minutes in a transit lounge at Changi Airport, along with people who had travelled from other parts of the world.
Authorities in South Korea have previously informed us that, based on their initial investigations, they suspect the traveller was infected with COVID-19 while in transit in Singapore.
Officials are seeking information from South Korea about the results of any follow up testing of this individual.
Other causes, including infection in New Zealand, can’t be ruled out at this point, so a number of domestic actions have been initiated as precautionary measures. These include:
– making contact with all passengers on the domestic flight this person was on, with those who were in the two rows around the traveller being asked to self-isolate and be tested;
– asking the traveller’s household contacts to self-isolate and be tested; and
– following up the individual’s movements while they were in New Zealand.
This case emphasises the importance of people keeping track of their movements so they can be contacted swiftly if contract tracing becomes necessary.
Anyone concerned about their health as a result of this update can call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
NZ COVID Tracer
NZ COVID Tracer has now recorded 620,500 registered users.
There have been 80,897 posters created to date and 1,583,494 poster scans.