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New Zealand records two new cases — one week after declaring itself COVID-19 free

New Zealand records two new cases — one week after declaring itself COVID-19 free
June 16
16:43 2020

Two new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in New Zealand, a week after the country was declared coronavirus free.

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On June 8, 2020, the nationwide lockdown was lifted and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared the country COVID-19 free.

However, in a statement on Tuesday, New Zealand’s ministry of health announced the two new cases.

The patients, both females, recently returned to the country from the UK.

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“Two women from the same family, one in her 30s and the other in her 40s, who recently arrived from the UK via Australia have today been confirmed with COVID-19,” it read.

“Both women arrived in New Zealand together on 7 June, stayed in a managed isolation hotel in Auckland and were permitted on compassionate grounds to leave managed isolation to travel to Wellington via private vehicle on 13 June.

“One woman experienced mild symptoms; the other was symptom-free.

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“Both presented for testing at a Wellington community assessment centre (CBAC) as part of their agreed self-isolation plan.”

The ministry disclosed that local public health staff are testing and isolating people who may have been in contact with the women, including people on the same flight from Australia, and people who are in or have been in the same managed isolation facility.

The women are also on self-isolation in the Wellington region.

“A new case is something we hoped we wouldn’t get but is also something we have expected and planned for,” Ashley Bloomfield, the director-general of health, said, according to the statement.

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“That’s why we have geared up our contact tracing and testing capability to be able to respond rapidly.

“We know there are people continuing to come to New Zealand from countries where there is active community spread of COVID-19. This is managed through our requirement for two weeks in isolation at the border.

“We have great sympathy for families dealing with bereavements, although today’s news underscores a recent decision to not grant exemptions to attend funerals or tangihanga.”

The announcement of the two new cases comes almost one month after the country recorded its last new COVID-19 infection.

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According to the ministry of health, the country has recorded 1,506 confirmed COVID-19 cases, out of which 1,482 persons have recovered.

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