New Zealand reports first new Covid-19 cases in more than three weeks
New Zealand recorded two new cases of Covid-19 today, the country’s Ministry of Health announced.
They are the first cases to be reported in the country in 24 days.
The two new infections are both women from the same family who arrived in New Zealand from the UK via Australia, according to the ministry’s news release.
The women were allowed on compassionate grounds to leave their isolation at a hotel in Auckland and travel to Wellington via private vehicle to visit a relative who has since died, Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield said in a news briefing today.
“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 experienced “mild symptoms,” but put them down to a pre-existing condition. The women didn’t use any public facilities during their journey.
Local public health staff are testing and isolating one additional family member who may be at risk of exposure, and they are tracing potential contacts — including people on the same flight from Brisbane and those in the same isolation facility.
Last week, New Zealand lifted almost all domestic coronavirus restrictions, though stringent rules on entering the country remain in place.
The latest infections bring New Zealand’s total number of confirmed cases to 1,156.