COVID-19: Air New Zealand passengers who tested positive in Fiji only transited through Auckland - Ministry of Health

Two people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Fiji after travelling from Auckland had transited through the Super City and other "high-risk areas", according to the Ministry of Health.

In a statement to Newshub on Monday, a spokesperson confirmed that the passengers, who arrived in Nadi on Air New Zealand flight NZ952 on December 24, had only transited through Auckland after stopping in other "high-risk areas".

"There is no additional risk to New Zealand arising from these results as all existing risks are currently appropriately mitigated through the border measures," the Ministry of Health spokesperson said.

"It's not unexpected to see passengers transiting from a high-risk area through New Zealand to later be confirmed as a case."

On Sunday, the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) announced that the island had recorded two new imported cases - both women, aged 49 and 58. The women tested positive due to "routine exit testing while undergoing mandatory quarantine" in a managed isolation facility in Nadi, said the authority. 

"The individuals were safely and hygienically transferred to the isolation ward at the Lautoka hospital in accordance with the standard protocol for confirmed cases. They were asymptomatic and well since arrival in Fiji," the MHMS said in a statement.

The Air New Zealand flight the two passengers travelled on - NZ952 - departed Auckland International Airport at 9:49am and arrived in Nadi at 12:30pm.

It is currently unclear when and how the two women became infected. Both remained asymptomatic throughout quarantine and during the isolation period following their positive test results, the ministry said.

No information regarding CT value has been reported as of yet and given the lack of symptoms and their travel history, it is plausible that these are historic cases, the ministry suggested. 

At the airport, transiting passengers remain airside and are required by border staff to follow the same precautions as other travellers, including PPE, physical distancing and infection prevention and control procedures, the spokesperson reiterated.

"It's also important to note that any people who disembarked in Auckland from that flight and didn't transit through would've been taken to a managed isolation facility, and would've completed their isolation period by now," said the statement.

"We are in contact with Fiji's health authority about these cases to gain further information about the risk and will continue to assist where we can."

Fiji has recorded 55 cases of COVID-19 since the virus was first found there on March 19, 2020, with the last 34 cases detected in border quarantine.