New Zealand officials confirmed Monday’s case of the highly contagious South African variant of the coronavirus, the first cases reported outside a quarantine facility in the country in months, prompting officials to do so. trail and cutting the potential for disease transmission through communities and forcing Australia to immediately halt travel bubble-free quarantine travel.
A 56-year-old woman tested positive for the South African variant of Covid-19 after completing a two-week quarantine period at a hotel where she tested negative twice, New Zealand officials said Monday.
This is New Zealand’s first reported case of Covid-19 in months and health minister Chris Hipkins said It is “very likely” that the woman caught the virus from other people living in the quarantine facility.
15 of the woman’s close contacts have been identified and are being contacted, said Head of Health Ashley Bloomfield, adding that her husband and hairdresser, her closest contact, had tested negative.
The confirmation prompted Australia to immediately halt the bubble of quarantine-free travel with the island nation for 72 hours, which health minister Greg Hunt said was done “out of extreme caution” given the contagious South African variant and the woman outside. Public.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was told TVNZ said that although it has confidence in New Zealand’s disease control measures, “it is Australia’s decision on how they manage their borders.”
New Zealand is widely considered to be one of the most successful countries in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic, practically eliminating transmission within its borders. According to the health ministry websiteThe last reported infections due to community transmission occurred on November 18 and Johns Hopkins University reported a total of 2,288 cases and 25 deaths across the pandemic. The figure stands in stark contrast to many other developed countries, such as the US or the UK, even when adjusted for population and that success can, in part, be attributed to the strict lockdowns imposed and the country’s geographic isolation. Having largely brought the pandemic under control at home, Ardern wanted to help other countries around the world, at one point offerings up to Biden’s New Zealand health experts transition team to share what they have learned.
Ardern turn off called on New Zealand to close its borders in response to the news. “You will see that there is almost no country in the world that closes its borders to its citizens,” he said, adding that it doesn’t help to blame people with Covid-19. “Sometimes there is a tendency to be blamed. The message that I really want to convey here is that the most important for us is that people who are not well get tested, “Ardern said. “And they are less likely to do that if they feel they will be attacked if they test positive.”