Days after lifting almost all restrictions imposed because of the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic and more than three weeks without reporting any new fresh cases of the viral infection, New Zealand has reported a couple of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. Two women who had traveled to the country from the United Kingdom through Australia were confirmed to Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
According to the country’s Ministry of Health, these infections are the first to be found in the country in 24 days. The two women found to have tested positive for the virus infection were from the same family. They had been allowed into New Zealand on compassionate grounds – for visiting a terminally ill relative even though they were initially placed in an isolation hotel in Auckland upon arrival. They were later allowed to leave the facility.
Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield said in a press briefing on Tuesday that the two women, after leaving the quarantine facility, had traveled to Wellington in a private vehicle to visit a relative who has since died.
“A new case is something that we hoped we wouldn’t get but is also something we expected and we have planned for,” Bloomfield said. He added that one of the women had experienced “mild symptoms,” but linked them to a pre-existing condition.
No public facilities during their journey were used by the women.
He has asked that “anyone released [from isolation] on compassionate exemption is tested, and there is a negative test result received and confirmed before they are released,” Bloomfield said.
The ministry said that the work of testing and isolating one additional family member from the group who may be at risk of exposure is being conducted by the local public health staff.
Potential contacts who may have interacted the women is also ongoing through a contact tracing operation. The authorities are trying to identify those people who were on the on the same flight as the women as they traveled from Brisbane as well as people who are currently in or were in the same isolation facility in New Zealand,
Almost all domestic coronavirus restrictions though the country had been lifted by New Zealand last week except for imposing strict restrictions of entering the country from foreign land. With this latest positive case, the total number of Covid-19 cases in New Zealand reached 1,156.
(Adapted from CNN.com)