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The Ministry of Health reports whole-genome sequencing determining an unlikely factor of in-facility transmission of the Covid-19 virus at Novotel managed isolation facility, Auckland Airport.
Yesterday, at least 125 returnees staying at the facility were told that their stays would be extended due to an investigation being carried out. This was due to two previously reported positive day twelve cases.
Both cases had arrived at the facility on June 14 — one from Moscow and a second from Dubai — were added to the daily active cases in managed isolation on Monday.
The first case has reportedly been confirmed to have no close links to any other sequences in New Zealand to date. Auckland health officials are considering the second case likely to be historical due to their clinical history with a previous positive PCR test reported overseas back in April.
It was decided that those returnees can now leave the facility when they are eligible to do so following the return of whole-genome sequencing.
Ten people that remain are set to depart on Wednesday, June 30; in line with their original departure dates. Everyone else staying at the Novotel will need to complete their mandatory quarantine period unless an exemption applies.
Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, says safety is a priority for the country and it is taken seriously.
“We understand the frustration some of the guests may have been feeling, but we also know how important it is to rule out in-facility transmission,” Dr Bloomfield said to thisquality in a statement.
“Every time a post day 3 case is recorded, it’s essential we investigate further. The majority of the time these cases can be explained, through the previous contact with a case or because the person is part of a travel bubble. In a small number of cases, such as these ones, further investigation confirms there is no underlying problem.”
“The safety of returnees and that of all New Zealanders is our highest priority.”
Image: SUPPLIED/Google Maps
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