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The Ministry of Health has provided an update about three ships that have been put under investigation concerning a community case that was announced on Sunday.
The community case was a ports worker and returned a positive test. The man was likely to be infections on October 14 and 15. The man stayed in New Plymouth at two different places, but they have since been deep cleaned.
The man lives in Auckland but also did work in New Plymouth. He drove to New Plymouth by himself on Tuesday, October 13, which means there is a limited number of close contacts.
On Wednesday (October 14) he did some working at a ship at the port, he then checked into a different accommodation but then decided he’d travel back to Auckland on Wednesday evening and was at home on Thursday (October 15).
The man went to his workplace on Friday before feeling unwell, one close contact was identified from the man’s work, who is now isolating and has been tested.
The man is now staying at the Auckland quarantine facility. His four household contacts are in isolation and have been tested.
The Moana Chief is a New Zealand based ship with a new Zealand-based crew, and the Ministry is planning to test them tomorrow.
“We consider this ship unlikely to be the source of the infection of Sunday’s case. The ship is today moving from Marsden Point to Tauranga, and testing of the crew will take place tomorrow to rule it out as the source of infection,” said the Ministry of Health.
On the other hand, another ship called the Sofrana Surville is being suspected as the source of the infection of Sunday’s case. The ship arrived in Brisbane last night, and New Zealand health officials are following up with public health officials in Australia on the health of the workers on board.
“Australian authorities are conducting testing and serology on all 19 crew members. They will share these results when received and conduct genome sequencing on any positive results that are returned,” said the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry says their investigation into the ship’s activities while in New Zealand has found that 11 people are considered to have had contact with the ship while it was in Auckland.
“All are being followed up, tested and isolated if appropriate,” said the Ministry of Health.
“Toi Te Ora, the public health unit in the Bay of Plenty, is continuing work to identify people who boarded the ship while it was in Tauranga.”
The last ship’s name goes by Ken Rei, which remains anchored off Napier. Officials are determining with the ship’s owners for the ‘next move’ for the Ken Rei, in conjunction with the public health unites and port authorities.
“Testing arrangements will be made once a decision about future movements has been made,” said the Ministry of Health.
“We continue to conduct daily health checks for all 21 crew members on board. All are currently well and not reporting any symptoms of COVID-19, and have been symptom-free for seven days.”
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