Two new cases of Covid-19's UK variant reported

By Te Ao - Māori News

Four new cases of Covid-19 have been reported by the Ministry of Health since the last update on January 5.

No new community cases have been reported.

New cases

  • One is historical. This person arrived on January 4 from the United Kingdom via Singapore. This person tested positive on day 1 of routine testing and is in the facility in Hamilton.
  • One case arrived on January 5 from the United Kingdom via Qatar. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is in the Auckland quarantine facility.
  • One case arrived on January 5 from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Australia.  This person tested positive on day one of routine testing and is in the Auckland quarantine facility.
  • One case arrived on December 29 from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia and tested positive at day nine. This person is in the Auckland quarantine facility.

Active Cases

One previously recorded case has now recovered, while two previously recorded cases have been reclassified as under investigation.

The total number of active cases is 62.

UK variant

The ministry has confirmed two new cases of Covid-19 that have been linked to a new variant of Covid-19, known as 20B/501Y.V1 (Lineage B.1.1.7). This brings the total number of cases of this new variant to eight.

"These people are all cared for with the same high level of infection prevention measures as all Covid-19 positive cases, with daily health checks and use of PPE. Infection prevention control protocols are in place for all staff and we can assure the public that there is no increased risk to the community.

"The UK variant is more transmissible than other variants of the virus but there is no evidence at this stage that the length of the infection period is any different to any other variant of COVID-19, nor is it more likely to produce severe illness.

"All cases detected in managed isolation must meet the recovered case definition before being allowed to leave the facility as assessed by the medical team. This includes a period of at least 72 hours without any symptoms and a minimum of 10 days since symptom onset or a positive test."

The ministry will continue to monitor the overseas development of this new variant closely over the holiday period.