There is one new case of Covid-19 in managed isolation in New Zealand today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the new case was a woman in her 30s who travelled from London via Doha and Sydney. She tested positive on her third day in a quarantine facility.
She was staying in Ellerslie and is now in quarantine in Auckland, Dr Bloomfield said.
There are now 27 active cases and none in hospital.
Dr Bloomfield said there were 1007 tests processed yesterday.
A lot of people were denying the offer of a test, he said.
“We are extremely conscious of and motivated by the situation Victoria find themselves in.”
Three areas of action were under way, Dr Bloomfield said, including that any barriers to offering testing would be surveyed, ensuring testing remains accessible and for New Zealanders to take up the offer of testing.
“If you are offered a swab, then please take up that offer.”
Dr Bloomfield said without community transmission, people did not think they needed a swab.
“Just to reiterate to people that we’re not doing the testing for nothing, it is an absolutely fundamental part of our strategy and what we don’t want to be is in a situation like Melbourne where just a few cases out there quickly escalated to a wide spread outbreak.”
The NZ Covid Tracer app has recorded 616,300 registered users and over 80,000 posters have been generated.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced a financial boost for public health services, setting aside more than $300 million.
Discussing Covid-19 testing, Hipkins said everyone needed to do their bit: “We’re not doing this as a nicety, this is actually a really important part of our response to Covid-19.”
Coming into flu season, the health system did not want to be swamped with people who did not need testing, Hipkins said, but the balance had gone too far the other way.
The National Immunisation Register would not necessarily be able to cope with a mass immunisation programme, so IT work needed to be done to update it, Hipkins said.
There’s a lot of work being done on the development of a vaccine, he said.
“We don’t want to wait till we’ve got a vaccine before we start to figure out how we’re going to actually administer a vaccination campaign, we want that ready to go.”
Hipkins said the Pharmac model meant New Zealand tended to get a very competitive price for pharmaceuticals and was the envy of other countries around the world.
He said the price increase was part of a global supply change challenge.
Bloomfield said the results of the University of Oxford vaccine trial were very encouraging.
“This is a very promising start, the next phase is of course also important with following those people up to see how long immune response lasts…”
Source: rnz.co.nz Republished by arrangement.