After 22 days of no new Covid-19 instances locally, a port employee in New Zealand has examined constructive for the coronavirus.
The case is a New Zealand man who labored on the ports of Taranaki and Auckland and commenced displaying signs on Friday, earlier than testing constructive on Saturday night.
Dr Ashley Bloomfield, the director basic of well being, was alerted to the constructive take a look at within the last hour of voting on Saturday in New Zealand’s election – wherein prime minister Jacinda Ardern was rewarded for her success in twice eliminating the virus.
The person and his household at the moment are in isolation, and Bloomfield mentioned the case was being handled as an remoted encounter that had probably seen the person contaminated on the border, relatively than by means of widespread group circulation.
“The chance is contained,” Bloomfield mentioned on Saturday. “The emergence of a brand new group case is unsettling, and we have to stay vigilant.
“The case is one other reminder that Covid-19 isn’t going away any time quickly.”
Bloomfield mentioned New Zealanders mustn’t change into complacent, as Covid-19 continued to devastate the US and lots of components of Europe.
Ports of Taranaki and Auckland will now face elevated testing, Bloomfield mentioned. The contaminated man wore private protecting gear (PPE) whereas engaged on international ships, and had been examined for Covid 4 occasions.
“Whereas we’ve eradicated group transmission in New Zealand … that isn’t the case abroad, the place the virus is spreading and there are vital restrictions in place,” Bloomfield warned.
In August, Auckland went right into a second, three-week lockdown after a big cluster of the illness emerged in south Auckland, with greater than 100 individuals contaminated. The final confirmed group case in New Zealand was on 25 September.
Affiliate Professor Siouxsie Wiles, from the college of organic sciences on the College of Auckland mentioned it was unlikely the newest case had led to group transmission, and the swift identification of the illness confirmed border protections gave the impression to be working.
“It’s probably that the particular person turned contaminated after being on a global vessel to hold out upkeep someday within the final two weeks. Genomic sequencing could assist additional determine the supply of his an infection,” Wiles mentioned.
Ardern assured New Zealanders on Saturday there was nothing at this stage to recommend a change of alert ranges was wanted.
“There’s nothing to recommend to maneuver any of the restriction ranges, that is a person who was working in a high-risk space and was examined a number of occasions,” Ardern mentioned. “This particular person was already examined as a part of routine testing 4 occasions. That is an instance of the system working.”