Two passengers who transited through Auckland airport test positive in Fiji

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Ministry of Health in its latest update said there are six new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation in New Zealand - and no community cases. 

It also said it had been contacted by Fiji authorities regarding two passengers who had transited through NZ before Christmas and was closely monitoring vaccine issues in Norway.

Transit passengers to Fiji

The ministry said it had been contacted by Fiji's health authorities due to two people testing positive for Covid-19 on day 12 testing in Nadi. The two passengers transited through Doha and Brisbane via Auckland on Christmas Eve.

According to the ministry, all passengers from this flight whose final destination was Auckland completed managed isolation in New Zealand with no positive cases reported.

It said there are robust procedures in place for passengers transiting through New Zealand airports.

"Transiting passengers remain airside at the airport and border staff apply the same precautions to them that they do to all passengers including PPE, physical distancing and infection prevention and control procedures."

New cases

There are six new border cases of Covid-19 today. One of these cases is historical and deemed not infectious, the ministry said.

There are no new cases in the community.

The positive cases are arrivals from countries including South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom.

All of the cases are passengers who arrived between 9 and 15 January. Four of the cases are quarantined in Auckland, while the other two are in Christchurch. 

One of the cases who arrived from the US has a previous history overseas of Covid-19-like illness, the ministry said. The case returned a weak positive at Day 0 and further testing was indicative of an historical infection.

There are currently 85 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

The total number of confirmed cases to date is 1,906.

Norway vaccine programme

The ministry said Medsafe is closely monitoring the reports of deaths in elderly people in Norway who have all received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. "It is reported that the deaths occurred in very frail patients who may have had only weeks or months to live, and that further investigation into these deaths will take place."

Medsafe is also closely monitoring the results of the vaccine rollout in other countries as well. 

The ministry said Medsafe will thoroughly evaluate the Covid-19 vaccines to make sure they are safe and appropriate for use in New Zealand.

"In New Zealand vaccine safety and efficacy is the priority. No vaccine will be made available for public use in New Zealand until it has completed Medsafe’s assessment process and been approved as safe for use here."