Coronavirus: Increased testing in Queenstown where South Korean case spent time

There are now three cases of COVID-19 from travellers who left New Zealand and then tested positive after arriving at their destination.

A campaign was underway on Saturday to check for community transmission, set up in response to the movements of a visitor who tested positive in South Korea after leaving New Zealand. Four testing stations were set up in Auckland, with drive-by patients coming in to check for COVID-19. 

The Ministry of Health announced on Saturday that two women who travelled to Sydney from Auckland have also tested positive.

One came from Los Angeles and travelled through Auckland airport on July 6, en route to Sydney. There is no tracing or testing anyone in relation to this case.

The other woman flew out of Auckland on July 20. The Ministry of Health says she may have been a previously unconfirmed case from March and they are now following up with her close contacts.

Microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wells says these cases are a good reminder to New Zealanders to be prepared for an outbreak.

"What we've seen in Australia is it can happen. We've seen all over the world it can happen so we just need to be prepared for it, mentally and physically," she says.

But she says Kiwis are not prepared and are getting complacent. She says people should get a mask in case of community transmission and always track their movements.

"Are people keeping track of where they have been? These are all the kinds of things people need to do to ensure that if there are cases here we can really quickly identify them and stamp them out."

So, Newshub asked - are people tracking their movements and keeping a mask on hand.

"No, no," said two Kiwis.

"I don't venture out too much at the moment," said another.

"Well I can just remember where I've been really if anything happened," one said.

People in Christchurch and Queenstown with symptoms are also being urged to go to a medical centre this weekend and get a test after the South Korean man's movements.

Public Health South says the campaign has worked and there has been a noticeable increase in testing across the region since Friday, including in Queenstown where the man spent much of his time. 

There were two new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, both women in their twenties who came from Pakistan before going into managed isolation.

But it has now been 92 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source.