(Reuters) – New Zealand on Sunday reported three new domestically acquired COVID-19 circumstances, the nation’s first since late January, when a returned traveller examined constructive after leaving quarantine.
New Zealand’s minister for COVID-19 response, Chris Hipkins, stated the three circumstances have been a pair and their daughter in Auckland, and that genomic testing was being carried out to see if the household’s an infection was linked to any extremely infectious variants.
The brand new circumstances, the primary since Jan. 24, compelled Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to return to the capital Wellington, skipping a homosexual delight occasion in Auckland that she was as a consequence of attend on Sunday afternoon.
“Our system has swung into motion,” Hipkins instructed a swiftly referred to as media convention. “We’re gathering all the info as shortly as we are able to. And the system that’s served us so effectively previously is admittedly gearing up to take action once more.”
New Zealand – which had gone greater than two months with out an infection earlier than the January case – is to begin inoculating its 5 million folks towards the brand new coronavirus on Feb. 20, after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine sooner than anticipated.
The nation stays on alert degree 1 for COVID-19, its lowest degree, with no restrictions.
“No additional consideration of change to alert ranges has been taken at this level. We are going to accumulate extra data earlier than we might make any such choice,” Hipkins stated.
Well being authorities are nonetheless working to learn how the household contracted the virus and “whether or not COVID-19 could possibly be on the market in the neighborhood … or whether or not that is the beginning of what could possibly be a series of transmission,” he stated.
As a precaution, the highschool of the woman within the household will likely be closed on Monday and Tuesday, with COVID-19 testing services to be arrange there, officers stated.
Airways have additionally been contacted, as the girl within the contaminated household works for an airline catering firm, LSG Sky Cooks, the place she largely works within the laundry services, they stated.
Reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne; Modifying by Daniel Wallis and William Mallard