The processes used to catch COVID-19 cases at the New Zealand border have come under intense scrutiny this week following revelations two women let out of managed isolation later tested positive.
The women left managed isolation on Saturday after being granted an exemption on compassionate grounds due to the sudden death of a parent. On Monday, after driving to Wellington and briefly being in contact with friends along the way, they tested positive.
Neither had been tested before leaving, something that disappointed the likes of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister David Clark.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has since stressed that no one can leave the facilities without a negative test result first.
In response to the incident, the Government has announced a raft of actions such as temporarily suspending compassionate leave, having protocols urgently audited, appointing Air Commodore Digby Webb as head of managed isolation, and doubling Defence Force staff at the facilities .
Megan Woods has also been given ministerial responsibility for managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
"I understand that every New Zealander will be concerned by what has eventuated this week, and will want to know as soon as possible that our processes and procedures are adequate. I am committed to ensuring we understand what has happened and fix any shortcomings," Webb said on Friday.
Three other cases of COVID-19 were recorded in New Zealand this week. Each was caught at the border. Saturday's cases were found after the usual day-12 testing. It's expected more cases will be reported as a result of Kiwis returning to the country.
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