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-   -   New Zealand is Covid-free (https://www.fodors.com/community/australia-and-the-pacific/new-zealand-is-covid-free-1681050/)

Diamantina Jun 7th, 2020 08:21 PM

New Zealand is Covid-free
 
New Zealand now has no active Covid-19 cases, has not had any new cases for 17 days and is moving to "Level 1". For now the border remains largely closed to all but residents and citizens, though some essential workers of other countries have also been allowed to enter New Zealand, with all arrivals still required to go into 14 days of quarantine. It is expected that the border will soon open to those from Australia and the Cook Islands. It's likely Covid-free Pacific Island nations such as Fiji, Niue, Tonga, Samoa, will eventually join this Trans-Pacific bubble.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/a...ectid=12338052

Diamantina Aug 11th, 2020 02:17 AM

Disturbing news today. After 102 days of no community transmission, four people in one South Auckland family have tested positive. After living normally for more than three months we return to a higher state of alert for three days, possibly more.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...es-in-102-days

yestravel Aug 15th, 2020 08:00 AM


Originally Posted by Diamantina (Post 17142488)
Disturbing news today. After 102 days of no community transmission, four people in one South Auckland family have tested positive. After living normally for more than three months we return to a higher state of alert for three days, possibly more.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...es-in-102-days

Have they figured this out? Last I read it was up to 17.

Diamantina Aug 16th, 2020 02:22 AM

In five days, the cluster, that is, the cases of community transmission linked to the original family of four, has now grown to 46 (as of today, Aug. 16). There are also three other community transmission cases, which are under investigation, but are believed to be part of this same cluster. Most of these cases are from Auckland/Manukau/Waitematā, regions now under Lockdown Alert Level 3. But there are also a few cases from Tokoroa, a town in the Waikato region, and 29 cases among those who've recently arrived in New Zealand from overseas, and have been in mandatory managed isolation/quarantine.

After contracting the virus, the family visited tourist attractions and a supermarket, and stayed in a hotel in Rotorua, but so far no one has tested positive in Rotorua.

The origin of this current case of community transmission is a mystery. The genomic sequence of this particular Covid strain was reported to be most similar to genome sequences of Covid stains from Wuhan, Australia and the U.K, so one idea being investigated is whether the virus entered the country via a shipment of frozen food from Australia, as the first person from the original family to show symptoms works at Americold, a company that imports frozen food into New Zealand and also has facilities in Melbourne. However, Americold managers maintain there have sent no shipments from Melbourne to New Zealand. Port workers in Tauranga and Auckland are also currently being tested.

Outside of Auckland, the rest of the country is now at Alert Level 2and we are once again being asked to observe physical distancing. Gatherings of more than 100 people are not allowed. Prior to this recent case of community transmission the country was at Alert Level 1, normal life more or less, however we can't travel internationally without having to go into managed isolation upon return to NZ.

I will let you know if I learn more about how this new cluster came about.

Diamantina Aug 16th, 2020 04:30 AM

Correction: Sorry, I meant to write there are also, "20 cases among those who've recently arrived in New Zealand from overseas, and have been in mandatory managed isolation/quarantine."

Diamantina Aug 16th, 2020 11:12 PM

Today, Monday, August 17, there were nine new cases of community transmission, and no new cases among overseas arrivals currently in managed isolation. You can read more about the today's developments here:
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-z...august-17.html
The govt. has postponed elections, which were scheduled for September, to October 17.


mlgb Aug 17th, 2020 06:57 AM

It's really amazing how infectious the Coronavirus is, and still there are people here (including on Fodor's) who won't wear masks outside.

Diamantina Aug 18th, 2020 01:40 AM

The mystery deepens. "New Zealand has effectively ruled out cold storage as the source of its Covid-19 Outbreak"
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-...orage/12568450
There are now 70 cases of community transmission. One of these cases is not related to the original cluster.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/hea...re-complicated

yestravel Aug 18th, 2020 05:09 AM


Originally Posted by mlgb (Post 17144510)
It's really amazing how infectious the Coronavirus is, and still there are people here (including on Fodor's) who won't wear masks outside.

Its so easy -- wear a mask! I am amazed at how selfish Americans can be.
Thanks for the updates, Diamantina.

Melnq8 Aug 18th, 2020 11:44 AM

I too, very much appreciate your updates Diamantina. Always interesting to see how the virus is being handled in more sane parts of the world.

mlgb Aug 18th, 2020 12:48 PM


Originally Posted by yestravel (Post 17144779)
Its so easy -- wear a mask! I am amazed at how selfish Americans can be.
Thanks for the updates, Diamantina.

I was entertained to see that the police in Paris were enforcing outdoor masking. Our police here seem reluctant to enforce anything related to COVID.

nelsonian Aug 18th, 2020 01:13 PM

I am going to have to stop reading the news!! We still have only 22 deaths, our Covid testers are working incredibly long hours. Everyone is putting in such an enormous amount of work and they still get hammered by the press.

Diamantina Aug 21st, 2020 02:41 AM

NZ's new Covid community cluster, now known as the "Auckland August cluster", has grown to 88 cases, and Auckland remains on lockdown Alert Level 3.

Additionally, a maintenance worker at the Auckland Rydges Hotel managed isolation facility also tested positive. Genome sequencing proved his Covid strain was unrelated to the Auckland August Cluster, but linked to the same Covid strain found in a woman who stayed at the managed isolation hotel after returning from the US. She was later transferred to another quarantine hotel. Swipe card access confirmed that the maintenance worker and returnee never had direct contact. Investigators looked at the possibility that two nurses conducting Covid testing at the Rydges Hotel might have come in contact with both individuals, but both tested negative (they've also been tested for antibodies, but results are not yet available). Now investigators think the returnee might have unwittingly passed Covid onto the maintenance worker, after he later used the same elevator.
Latest update
https://www.health.govt.nz/news-medi...ses-covid-19-0

I agree, Nelsonian. This govt. has done and continues to do an enviable job of balancing individual rights, the economic health of the nation and its workers, and in fighting an unpredictable, highly contagious, and continually vexing and evolving novel coronavirus, which we're learning more about each day.

In my opinion, it was inevitable that our long Covid-free run would eventually be broken. But the govt. moved quickly to investigate new outbreaks through contact tracing and genome sequencing, is working hard to contain outbreaks and offer widespread testing, and continues to improve controls at managed isolation or quarantine hotels. I'm optimistic that we can once again eliminate Covid in the community.


mlgb Aug 21st, 2020 06:29 AM

Thanks for the continued updates. I think it's instructive to see how COVID spreads when it's possible to contact trace due to small numbers of cases, cooperation and competence!

Not something we can do where I live, just too many cases. And too many COVIDIOTS.

Churches, elevators and a public bus are implicated (the latter two still under investigation).

Moderator1 Aug 21st, 2020 02:25 PM

A couple of posts containing political comments have been deleted . The Destination forums are a 'politics-free zone'. The Lounge is available for those sorts of discussion and sentiments.

yestravel Aug 25th, 2020 08:03 AM

How are things going in NZ? Have they traced the sources? I appreciate your updates.

nelsonian Aug 25th, 2020 06:24 PM

No still haven't traced the original source. Now 134 active cases, all but two able to be traced back to original infection. Auckland will hopefully come out of level 3 on Sunday and then the whole country will be in level 2. Under level 2 must wear masks on public transport, schools can go back, no gatherings of more than 100 people, social distancing applies.


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