Covid 19 coronavirus: Five new MIQ cases; WHO patient’s mercy dash from Fiji

There are five new Covid cases to report in managed isolation today.

Two of the cases tested positive on day 13 of their stay.

The pair arrived in the country on July 14 from the United Arab Emirates and were in a bubble together. Health officials say they were a contact of a case.

The remaining three travellers tested positive on day-three routine tests.

One person arrived from the United Kingdom on July 23, a second arrived on July 24 from Fiji and the third’s full travel history was still to be determined.

The person arrived from an unknown country flying through Singapore.

Meanwhile, daily sampling from the New Plymouth wastewater treatment plant, along with further samples from sites around the Taranaki region continued this week.

The Health Ministry said there had been no subsequent detection of the virus to date.

Community testing was also continuing, with swab tests all returning negative results to date.

One of the Covid-19 positive mariners aboard the Mattina, currently in quarantine at South Port, was yesterday afternoon transferred to Southland Hospital and is currently in a stable condition.

The transfer was done in a carefully planned and co-ordinated way, using all appropriate Infection, Prevention and Control protocols, working with St John Ambulance and other hospital staff, under the guidance of Southern DHB Medical Officers of Health, the ministry said.

Another vessel with a Covid outbreak among the crew, the Playa Zahara, has now departed Lyttelton Port.

Another fishing vessel with infection on board, the Viking Bay, had 15 of the 20 crew members are now back on board. The vessel remained in quarantine at Queens Wharf in Wellington.

Five of the crew members remain in managed isolation in Wellington, the ministry said.

The Auckland hospital where a person seriously-ill with Covid-19 at the centre of a mercy dash from Fiji will be treated is still to be revealed.

Despite the private mercy flight just hours away from landing health officials say the receiving hospital is yet to be confirmed and would be determined by the treatment required by the patient and the capacity in the respective intensive care units.

The flight drama comes as a foreign crewman with the virus was transferred from a cargo ship in quarantine at Bluff and treated in a Southland hospital.

Details about this are set to be released by the Ministry of Health in an update at 1pm.

It is unclear whether one of the Mattina’s crew who tested positive for Covid-19 last week is still in Southland Hospital after a transfer took place yesterday from the vessel.

The Southern District Health Board said details including the time in hospital and measures taken to protect health care workers and the public would be “covered off” in today’s statement.

Meanwhile an air ambulance is due to land in New Zealand later today with a Covid-infected patient from Fiji.

The person is understood to be a high-profile staff member of the World Health Organisation.

The transfer comes after the Ministry of Health said earlier this week that a formal request for a person in Fiji to be moved to New Zealand for treatment had been declined on clinical grounds.

The ministry said the city’s three district health boards were currently working in “an extremely busy and dynamic environment” due to higher than normal reports of winter illnesses and RSV.

“The receiving hospital is yet to be confirmed and will be determined by the treatment required by the patient and the capacity in the respective ICUs,” said a spokesperson.

As one emergency unfolds health officials yesterday announced crew on one of the fishing vessels at the centre of a recent Covid outbreak had all recovered.

No one from the Playa Zahara remained onshore in managed isolation and the vessel was being deep cleaned yesterday. It was expected to depart once this was completed.

The remaining six infected crewman from the Viking Bay, another fishing vessel with a Covid outbreak, were expected to be released from onshore managed isolation as they recovered over the next few days.

Health officials said the ship remained in quarantine at Queens Wharf in Wellington where it would also be deep cleaned.

There are currently 43 people with Covid in New Zealand.

Health officials said they were continuing daily sampling from the New Plymouth wastewater treatment plant, along with further samples from sites around the Taranaki region for the coming week to determine whether there were any undetected cases in the area.

There have been no subsequent detections since last week when two samples came back positive for coronavirus.

Yesterday the Government announced the opening of the fourth and final tranche of the national vaccination programme.

As of midnight Tuesday 1,759,154 doses of the Pfizer vaccination had been administeredwith 700,000 fully vaccinated.

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