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New Zealand probes first ‘possible’ group COVID-19 case in months

New Zealand probes first ‘probable’ community COVID-19 case in months
New Zealand well being officers mentioned on Sunday they had been investigating what they mentioned was most likely the nation’s first group coronavirus case, in months in a girl who just lately returned from abroad.

The 56-year-old, who returned to New Zealand on Dec. 30, examined constructive for the virus that causes COVID-19 days after leaving a two-week obligatory quarantine on the border the place she had twice examined adverse.

“We’re working below the assumptions that this can be a constructive case and that it’s a extra transmissible variant, both the one recognized first in South Africa or the UK, or doubtlessly Brazil – or one other transmissible variant,” Director-Normal of Well being Ashley Bloomfield advised a information convention.

It isn’t identified how the lady was contaminated or whether or not the an infection is new, Bloomfield mentioned. However because the girl examined constructive a number of days after being launched from quarantine and has been at residence, the authorities are treating it as a “possible group case”.

New Zealand, one of the profitable developed nations in controlling the unfold of the pandemic, final recorded a group coronavirus transmission on Nov. 18, in line with the Well being Ministry web site.

A troublesome lockdown and geographical isolation helped New Zealand just about eradicate the novel coronavirus inside its borders.

The nation of 5 million individuals has had just one,927 confirmed instances. However with the pandemic raging globally, extra persons are returning to New Zealand with infections, together with the brand new variants, elevating considerations the virus could unfold in the neighborhood once more.

The lady, who lives in Northland on New Zealand’s North Island, quarantined upon arrival in a managed isolation facility in Auckland the place a number of the extremely virulent COVID-19 instances have been recorded in latest weeks, Bloomfield mentioned.

“It is a reminder to all of us that the pandemic continues and that this can be a difficult virus,” he mentioned.

Social media customers rushed to precise concern and frustration concerning the new case, with one person describing the reactions on Twitter as a “collective groan”.

On Sunday, there have been eight new infections, all returning travellers quarantined on the border, bringing lively instances amongst these quarantined to 79, the ministry mentioned in an announcement.

Stress has been mounting on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s authorities to vaccinate the inhabitants, however New Zealand has mentioned nearly all of its inhabitants would solely be vaccinated within the second half of the 12 months.