Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland Airport worker tests positive for Covid-19

An Auckland Airport worker has tested positive for Covid-19 on the second day of the transtasman bubble.

There are no new community cases of COVID-19 to report today, the Ministry of Health said but the airport worker, classified as a border case, tested positive.

“The usual protocol of isolating the case, interviewing them, and tracing their contacts and movements is underway.

“More information will be provided later today and this case will be included in tomorrow’s totals,” the statement said.

There were 15 flight arrivals and 17 departures at Auckland Airport on Monday.

Waiting to greet the new arrivals in the airport terminal were also hundreds of family members and friends thrilled to be reunited with family on the first day of the transtasman bubble.

There was also one historical case of Covid-19 to report since yesterday – a recent returnee who had recovered.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is two.

The total number of active cases reported in New Zealand today is 86. Seventeen previously reported cases have now recovered.

The total number of confirmed cases overall is 2241. Since the start of this year there have been 49 historical cases, out of a total of 425.

The latest historical case had arrived from Somalia on March 28 via the United Arab Emeritates. They’d returned a positive test on day 12 of routine testing in managed isolation in Auckland.

There were two new cases in managed isolation announced yesterday.

They were both travellers who arrived from India before the temporary ban on flights from the sub-continent began on April 11.

One landed on April 2, the other on April 5.

Meanwhile, two central Auckland managed isolation facilities will be emptied as a probe into air conditioning begins.

With quarantine-free travel now beginning between New Zealand and Australia, the Ministry of Health urged travellers to download the Covid tracer app.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 102. One previously reported case has now recovered and another previously reported case has been reclassified to “under investigation”.

Fresh investigations into the spread of Covid in MIQ operations at the Grand Millennium and Grand Mercure are underway after both hotels were closed to new returnees last week.

The reviews will look into ventilation as a potential transmission source of infection which has seen staff and returnees contract the virus.

The change would persist until the reviews concluded, expected at the end of the month.

The recommendation to close the hotels was made by a joint Ministry of Health and MIQ technical advisory group.

The group also recommended that all returnees currently at the Grand Mercure be tested at day seven of their stay, in addition to other testing. People in managed isolation are currently tested within 24 hours of arrival, on day three and day 12.

MIQ head Brigadier Jim Bliss said recent instances involving new variants had shown aerosol transmission played a “greater role” in how Covid-19 spread than previously thought.

The sluggish start to an investigation was slammed by epidemiologist Professor Nick Wilson, who said there had been concern since the Rydges case in August last year whose infection still hadn’t been fully explained.

“This is all late in the day from my perspective, all these hotels should have had a rigorous review in terms of their ventilation systems from the very start,” Wilson said.

He was keen to see the Government move away from hotels as MIQ facilities and instead look at purpose-built facilities away from cities, possibly on military bases.


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