COVID-19: No new cases in community, none in managed isolation

COVID-19: No new cases in community, none in managed isolation
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Two people in New Zealand are being treated as casual contacts of Perth's confirmed case of COVID-19 after they visited a location of interest, the Ministry of Health announced on Sunday.

The two casual contacts, who are from the same household, are currently awaiting their test results, the ministry said. However, the risk to the public is considered "very low".

It comes as Perth enters day two of its three-day lockdown, a decision that resulted in the suspension of all travel between New Zealand and Western Australia. It was discovered that a guest at a managed isolation facility in Perth, the Perth Mercure, had contracted the virus after they tested positive on Friday. However, the individual - who tested negative on day 12 of their stay - had already spent five days with friends in Perth after being released from the facility. They then travelled back to their home in Melbourne, Victoria, where they later tested positive after being informed they were a close contact of another confirmed case at the facility.

On Saturday, health officials were in the process of contacting 1000 passengers who arrived in New Zealand on direct flights from Perth on April 19, 21 and 23, the ministry said.

The two people later deemed as casual contacts had informed health authorities they were in the Perth domestic terminal at the time specified on the locations of interest page.

"They are being treated as casual contacts and have both had their tests on Sunday, with results due this week."The risk to the public has been assessed again to be very low, the ministry said. "They will remain in isolation until their test results come back," a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said in Sunday's update.

No new imported cases of COVID-19 have been picked up in managed isolation facilities in the past 24 hours and no new cases have been detected in the community.

As of Sunday, no previously reported cases have recovered from the virus, with the total number of active infections remaining at 33.

To date, New Zealand has recorded a total of 2245 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

Since January 1, 2021, 49 of 429 cases have been classified as historical infections.

New Zealand has also completed two million tests for COVID-19, the ministry said, after hitting the one million milestone in October. The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,000,842.

Response to Perth lockdown

Quarantine-free travel between Western Australia and New Zealand remains paused after Perth and the outer-metropolitan area of Peel were placed under the three-day lockdown at 12:01am on Saturday, April 24 (local time).

New Zealanders in Australia are asked to follow local guidance and check for places of interest outside of Western Australia, the ministry said.

Passengers flying to New Zealand from other Australian states will be required to complete pre-departure and arrival declarations advising whether they have been in Perth or Peel since April 17 - and whether they have visited any of the current locations of interest.

"New Zealand health officials remain in contact with their Australian counterparts and are closely monitoring the situation. The current risk to New Zealand has been assessed as low. Updates will be provided if there are any changes to the current risk assessment or advice," the ministry said.

"Information for anyone who is in New Zealand and has been in Perth or Peel since April 17 is on the locations of interest page on the Ministry of Health website, and on the Western Australia Department of Health site."

"If you have been to a location of interest you should stay at home, or in your accommodation, get a test, and contact Healthline 0800 358 5453.

"All people who have been in Perth or Peel since April 17 should watch for symptoms and if symptoms develop they should stay home and get a test.

"As per our framework travel to the rest of Australia will continue. If you're booked to travel between New Zealand and Western Australia in the next few days, check what you need to do with your airline."

April airport case update  

The number of close and close-plus contacts of the border worker who tested positive on Tuesday has increased to 39, the ministry said.

All 39 close contacts of this case have been contacted and are self-isolating.  

Of those 39 close contacts, 34 have returned negative tests to date with the outstanding results still to come.

Public health officials are in daily communication with all contacts to monitor their health and confirm any upcoming testing dates.