Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Cases linked to UK COVID virus

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that an additional two cases of COVID-19 have been found to match the recently identified UK variant of COVID-19.

The Ministry said both had arrived in New Zealand from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.

“This brings the total number of UK (Lineage B.1.1.7) variant cases sequenced in New Zealand to eight,” the Ministry said.

“These people are all cared for with the same high level of infection prevention measures as all COVID-19 positive cases, with daily health checks and use of PPE. Infection prevention control protocols are in place for all staff and we can assure the public that there is no increased risk to the community.”

It said the UK variant was more transmissible than other variants of the virus but there was no evidence at this stage that the length of the infection period was any different to any other variant of COVID-19, nor was it more likely to produce severe illness.

“All cases detected in managed isolation must meet the recovered case definition before being allowed to leave the facility as assessed by the medical team. This includes a period of at least 72 hours without any symptoms and a minimum of 10 days since symptom onset or a positive test.”

There are four new cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation to report since the Ministry’s last media statement on 5 January.

Of the new border cases:

  • One is historical. This person arrived on 4 January from the United Kingdom via Singapore. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is in the facility in Hamilton.
  • One case arrived on 5 January from the United Kingdom via Qatar. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is in the Auckland quarantine facility.
  • One case arrived on 5 January from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Australia.  This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is in the Auckland quarantine facility.
  • One case arrived on 29 December from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia and tested positive at day nine. This person is in the Auckland quarantine facility.

“There are a range of reasons why a person may receive additional tests outside the routine testing. For example, if they are symptomatic, a potential contact of a case, or travelling within a travel bubble of a confirmed case,” the Ministry said.

“One previously reported case has now recovered. Two previously reported cases have been reclassified as Under-Investigation and removed from the total. Changes to a case status can occur as we undertake further investigation to determine if they are an historical case.”

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 62. Our total number of confirmed cases is 1,832.

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