There are four new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, all in managed isolation.
Seventeen previously reported cases have now recovered, bringing the total number of active cases in this country to 43.
Meanwhile, genomic sequencing tests had confirmed that an Air NZ crew member was infected overseas.
“The same genome lineage has been reported in the United States,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
“The three air crew members who are close contacts of the air crew member who tested positive have returned negative day 5 test results.
“A fourth person who is a casual contact was transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility as a precaution after developing symptoms. This person has returned a negative test result and remains in the quarantine facility.”
Today's four new cases
• Two cases are part of the same family that arrived on December 9 from the Czech Republic via Germany and Singapore. Both people tested positive on day 3 and are now in quarantine in a facility in Christchurch.
• Two cases who travelled together arrived on December 10 from the United States.
Both travellers tested positive around day 3 and are being transferred to a quarantine facility in Christchurch.
The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand is 1744, with the total number of processed tests being 1,352,462.
The Covid tracer app now has 2,409,300 users and there have been 139,351,943 poster scans, and users have created 5,614,164 manual diary entries.
Yesterday there was one new case in managed isolation.
Also yesterday, the Government unveiled its “worst-case scenario” plan on how it would respond to another virus outbreak if one occurred over the summer months.
“If we find it, we’ll stamp it out, and we’ve made sure the Government’s Covid-19 team, and the national support network, are ready,” Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.
And as many New Zealanders are preparing for a “well-earned” summer break, Hipkins put a new Covid-19 twist on a tried-and-tested Kiwi classic.
This summer, he wants people to: “Slip, slop, slap and scan.”
“After a long hard year, New Zealanders do deserve to have a summer holiday,” he said.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson has also outlined how the Government would financially respond if there was a summer outbreak.
This includes another round of the wage subsidy payment if New Zealand – or an affected region – goes into level 3 or 4.
Kiwi nurse dies of Covid-19 at English hospital
A senior Kiwi nurse in the emergency department at a hospital in England has died after contracting Covid-19.
New Zealander Barclay Mason had worked at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, a town north of London, for more than 20 years.
Lance McCarthy, chief executive at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, said he was a kind and valued friend and colleague who was committed to caring for his patients.
“It is with great sadness that I confirm the death of Barclay Mason, a member of our emergency department team, who will be remembered for his commitment to patient care, his kindness and as a valued friend and colleague to many at the Princess Alexandra Hospital,” he said.
“Barclay has been a senior charge nurse at the hospital for over 20 years and his loss will be felt by the many colleagues from across PAHT and the East of England Ambulance service who worked with him.
“Barclay had been recently cared for by the PAHT team for Covid-19.
“Our thoughts are with Barclay’s family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.”
Summer outbreak phases
Phase 1: Assessment
Community case confirmed and transmission risk assessed.
Phase 2: Immediate response
If needed, Ministry of Health Covid-19 Resurgence Plan and National Resurgence Response Plan would be activated. The location and extent of outbreak risk would be assessed.
A central government leadership group would decide if any further action is required, or monitors the situation, or activates response system.
Phrase 3: Sustained Response
If response system activated, a team of central and local government, iwi and community leaders work with local Civil Defence and Emergency Management to manage the outbreak, including: immediate public health response care for vulnerable people and communities support businesses.
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