Ministry of Health update
December 9, 2020
There are three new cases of Covid-19 to report in managed isolation in New Zealand today.
There are no new community cases and no active community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.
Of the three new cases, two are active cases and one is historical.
Of the two active cases:
One person arrived on 7 December. The country of origin is not yet available. They tested positive on arrival and have been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.
One person arrived on 3 December from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates.
They tested positive at routine testing at around day 3. They have been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.
Of the historical case
This person arrived in New Zealand on 2 December from the United Kingdom via Singapore. This person tested positive at routine testing at around day 3. Further investigation indicated this is a historical case, now recovered. This person is in a Christchurch quarantine facility.
Two previously reported cases have now also recovered, so our total number of active cases is 55.
Our total number of confirmed cases is 1732. Yesterday laboratories processed 6397 tests for Covid-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,321,598.
Suspected historical case onboard ship from Japan
Additionally to the case outlined above, a suspected historical case of Covid-19 has been detected in a crew member on the CTG Cobalt which had docked in the Port of Tauranga from Japan and is now en-route to Timaru.
No crew members have come ashore, so there is a very low risk of transmission to the New Zealand community.
The crew member who returned a weak positive Covid-19 test, with a high CT value, indicating an old infection.
It appears most likely that this crew member had Covid-19 some time ago. They have no symptoms, are recovered and are no longer infectious.
The CTG Cobalt arrived in New Zealand waters on December 6 after departing Japan on November 19.
All other crew members have tested negative and have been on board the vessel, effectively in isolation for 17 days for the duration of their voyage.
Until the current investigation by public health staff is concluded, no crew members will be allowed to leave the vessel. This case is not yet reported in our official figures while it remains under investigation.
Health and port staff who have had minimal contact with the crew, have all been informed and no further action is deemed necessary at this stage.
NZ Covid Tracer
NZ Covid Tracer now has 2,396,500 registered users.
Poster scans have reached 135,441,911 and users have created 5,449,443 manual diary entries.
Covid-19 Panel: 2020 in review
A reminder that the Ministry of Health is hosting a panel for media tomorrow (Thursday 10 December, 5.15pm – 6pm) where participants will reflect on New Zealand’s approach to Covid-19 and how the response evolved throughout 2020.
Details here: https://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/media-releases/panel-2020-review
Ministry of Health updates
At this stage of New Zealand’s response to Covid-19, we are seeing cases routinely appear at the border in recent returnees in managed isolation facilities.
We expect this to continue to be the case while we remain in Alert Level 1 with managed isolation requirements in place.
To reflect this, the Ministry is reducing the frequency of media updates to four times a week – currently scheduled to be on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The Ministry’s website will be updated with case numbers in line with these media updates.
On those days, the Ministry will report cases that have tested positive in managed isolation in the preceding days since the last update.
The public can be assured that the Ministry will report any significant development, including any case emerging in the community, sooner if required.
At this stage our next media release will be sent at 1pm on Friday.