LIVE: No new COVID cases reported

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

UPDATE: There are no new cases of COVID-19 being reported in New Zealand today.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashey Bloomfield says that is no new cases at the border and none in the community.

Ashley is giving a live update on the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand today.

He says the results are pleasing given that all close contacts of yesterday's case have been tested.

Genome testing has been completed on yesterday's case and has revealed that the strain of COVID he has is not one seen in New Zealand before and is being treated as a border case.

Ashley says there are no links of any existing case in New Zealand.

"The most likely source is a ship that the man worked on in Auckland on October 12 and 13.

"We continue to investigate the source of this man’s infection - we believe the most likely source of the man’s infection is a ship he worked on in Auckland - the Sofrana Surville."

That ship had travelled from Papua New Guinea to Solomon Islands to Brisbane to Tauranga to Auckland, where eight crew joined it from the Philippines on October 13. 

The case reported yesterday carried out some work on the ship on October 13, wearing PPE while on board. Details of his activities on board the ship are under investigation. 

The Sofrana Surville then travelled to Noumea, and it is now on its way to Brisbane.

"We are working with public health authorities overseas for follow up as appropriate under the countries’ protocols and procedures.

"We plan to also test the New Zealand-based crew of another ship that the man worked on prior to this ship. We don’t believe this ship is the source of the infection, as it only operates in New Zealand waters with a New Zealand-based crew, but we want to ensure that all avenues of investigation are explored and eliminated."

The ship that the engineer subsequently worked on in New Plymouth, the Ken Rei, is currently anchored off Napier.

"We are treating all 21 crew members on board as close contacts of our case reported yesterday.

"Everyone involved in the process regarding that ship has been very helpful in ensuring there is no risk posed to community, and we thank them for their cooperation while we work through our next steps. Crew members are receiving daily health checks."

New Zealand now has 1530 confirmed cases.

Ashley says five of the previous cases have now recovered and there are 37 active cases in the county.

EARLIER:

The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield is expected to provide an update on COVID-19 at 1pm.

A livestream of the update will be available from this page and SunLive will provide updates throughout the afternoon.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Heath announced a single case of COVID-19 in the community.

An marine electronics engineer had tested posted for the virus.

The man had been working on a ship at Port of Taranaki on Wednesday, October 14. He became symptomatic on Friday, October 16, and sought a test.

The man had been getting regular testing, he tested negative on October 2.

The Ministry of Health says the risk of community transmission is low because the man had limited contact with members of the public.

His household contacts are self-isolating and other close contacts are being investigated.




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