Covid 19 coronavirus: Ministry to provide update on Perth investigation

Two people who arrived in New Zealand from Perth are being treated as casual contacts following the Covid outbreak in Western Australia.

Yesterday 1000 passengers who arrived in New Zealand on direct flights from Perth on 19, 21 and 23 April were being contacted and provided with advice.

Of those, two people from the same household have let health authorities know they were in the Perth domestic terminal at the time specified in the locations of interest page.

They are being treated as casual contacts and have both had their tests today, with results due this week. The risk to the public has been assessed again to be very low. They remain in isolation until their test results come back.

EARLIER

The Ministry of Health will on Sunday afternoon provide an update on its bid to contact about 1000 passengers who flew into New Zealand on possibly infected Covid-19 flights.

A press statement is expected about 1pm.

There haven’t been any new community cases of Covid-19 for nearly two weeks but the country was put on alert after news on Friday that West Australian city Perth and the Peel region were diving into a three-day lockdown after authorities discovered two infected peoplehad been in their community for five days.

New Zealand’s quarantine-free travel was immediately suspended with the Ministry of Health saying it would monitor the situation along with its Australian counterparts.

“About 1000 passengers who have arrived in New Zealand on direct flights from Perth on April 19, 21 and 23 are being contacted and provided with advice,” the Ministry said on Friday.

However, health teams deemed the risk of infection low on Friday.

Quarantine-free travel had continued successfully, so far, with the rest of Australia.

Flights to Perth resumed yesterday while the return service, NZ176 was renumbered and will operate as a cargo-only service.

Flights NZ175 from Auckland to Perth and NZ176 from Perth to Auckland tomorrow were delayed 24 hours. Both will depart on Tuesday subject to the restrictions in Perth being lifted.

People booked to travel between New Zealand and Western Australia this long weekend were urged to check what needed to be done through their airline.

“Passengers flying to New Zealand from other Australian states will be required to complete pre-departure and arrival declarations advising whether they have been in Perth or Peel since 17 April, and whether they have visited any of the current locations of interest.”

“If people have been to a location of interest they should stay at home, or in their accommodation, and get a test.”

The Ministry had also been hoping anyone flying into the country through the trans-Tasman bubble had been signed up and using the NZ Covid Tracer App.

By Friday, there had been 2,793,846 registered users since its inception last year.

Meanwhile, the Ministry should also confirm whether the number of close and close plus contacts of the community case – an airport worker – have increased.

On Friday they went up from 31 to 36 and all were self-isolating.

At that stage, 21 of 36 had returned negative tests and the Ministry was awaiting results of the remainder.


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