Covid 19 coronavirus: No new cases today as contact tracers follow up Victoria returnees

There are no new cases of coronavirus in New Zealand today and one historical case.

The historical case is a recent returnee who is in managed isolation. The person arrived in New Zealand on April 24 from the UAE via Malaysia. They returned a weak positive on day 12 as part of routine testing and were transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.

Historical cases are not considered infectious, however this person was transferred to MIQ as a matter of precaution while investigations are undertaken, the Ministry of Health said.

The ministry provided an update on Covid numbers in New Zealand this afternoon as contact tracers continue to track down the 4500 people recently returned from Victoria, where Australia’s latest community case was detected.

A Melbourne man tested positive on Tuesday after catching the virus while in hotel quarantine in South Australia after returning from India. He finished quarantine, returned home on May 4 and developed symptoms four days later.

Yesterday, two people in New Zealand contacted Healthline to identify themselves as casual contacts and received advice on testing and isolation.

One person, who was symptomatic, has been tested and returned a negative result, the Ministry of Health said today. Upon assessment by public health staff, the second person didn’t need a test.

The ministry said it had been continually assessing the situation in Victoria and had so far determined the public health risk was low and there was no need to put a halt on quarantine-free travel from the state.

However, the ministry reiterated that anyone who was at one of the locations of interest in Melbourne at the specified time could not travel to New Zealand for 14 days from exposure.

Anyone already in New Zealand who had been at a location of interest in Melbourne during the time specified must call Healthline for advice on isolating and testing.

New locations of interest in Melbourne had recently been added and could be found on the New Zealand Ministry of Health website.

The ministry said its public health team remained in contact with their counterparts in Australia about the situation in Melbourne.

Yesterday, one new case of Covid-19 was detected in managed isolation in New Zealand.

The person had travelled from Indonesia via Singapore and the virus was picked up after routine day-three testing.

As of today, the seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is two.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand today remains at 18 and the total number of confirmed cases is 2289.

Since January 1, 2021 there have been 60 historical cases out of a total of 473 cases.

PM on future Covid plans

Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern talked about what life in New Zealand could look like in the coming months during a pre-Budget speech.

Ardern’s speech traversed territory she had not previously visited; she talked about the need for everyone to have their individualised armour before the borders could open beyond Covid-free countries like Australia.

She even talked about the possibility of having vaccinated people arriving from overseas before New Zealand’s vaccine rollout was finished.

The factors the Government would consider for opening up, she said, included how well vaccines prevented transmission between vaccinated people, and whether new variants of the virus were emerging which could cause an uncontrolled outbreak – regardless of how widely vaccinated New Zealanders were.

“While I cannot give you definitive answers on where some of this work will land, I can tell you that we will keep an open mind, listen to the science, and prepare ourselves for the range of different opportunities that may arise.”

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