Covid 19 coronavirus: Will there be any new cases in Christchurch?

With the week bringing a new community outbreak in the South Island, health officials will today reveal if increased testing across Christchurch has uncovered more infection.

The Ministry of Health is due to give its latest update at 1pm. It will come via a statement rather than a press conference.

Two healthcare workers at the Christchurch Airport-based Sudima Hotel have now tested positive for Covid-19 this week.

They make up the 73 people currently infected with Covid in New Zealand.

The facility where the pair worked is housing hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian seamen who were flown to New Zealand to work in our fisheries.

To date 31 men have fallen ill with Covid-19 since arriving in Christchurch.

The director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said yesterday it was likely the crew men had come in contact with the virus after they were tested in their homeland and during the flight to New Zealand.

The men, who have already spent more than two weeks in managed isolation, are now unable to leave the facility until tomorrow at the earliest as a precaution.This is still under review as investigations continue.

Genomic testing had linked the first health worker, a woman in her 50s, with an infection strain from five of the sick international seaman.

The genomic results from the second infected health worker, a woman in her 20s who is a close work contact the covid-positive woman, were expected to be released today.

There are three close household contacts connected to the two women at the centre of the newest transmission scare including a teenager who attends Cashmere High School, and all in self-isolation at home.

With a new community outbreak in the garden city Cantabrians have been lining up at testing stations.An additional site has been set up at Princess Margaret Hospital to cater to the demand.

Yesterday health officials urged people who had shopped at The Chemist Warehouse late Friday afternoon to get tested after it was revealed the second woman to test positive for Covid had been shopping at South City Mall while asymptomatic.

However because the woman was in the store for around 10 minutes and didn’t have any close contact with other people during their time there, the visit was regarded as very low risk and a casual exposure event.

Health officials said there were 1,615 confirmed cases in New Zealand.

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