Ten recent returnees have tested positive for COVID-19 in managed isolation facilities over the past two days, the Ministry of Health said on Sunday.
Earlier this morning, the COVID-stricken Playa Zahara fishing vessel docked at Lyttelton Port. Sixteen of the ship's 18 crewmen have tested positive for COVID-19, 11 of whom will be transported to managed isolation and quarantine facilities in Christchurch. The remaining five will isolate aboard the vessel.
Sunday's new imported cases include three of the four Viking Bay mariners who remain aboard the ship, which is quarantined at Queens Wharf in Wellington. Welfare and health checks are being carried out daily, and plans are in place should any of them become unwell, a spokesperson for the ministry said.
Two further cases have been classified as historical and are therefore not considered infectious. The first arrived on November 27 last year from the Philippines, and the second arrived on June 26 from India via Serbia and the UAE.
A returnee who arrived from India and was classified as a historical case on Friday has now been reclassified as "under investigation", the spokesperson said, and has been removed from New Zealand's tally at this stage.
Fourteen previously reported case have now recovered, bringing the number of active cases in New Zealand to 45.
Since January 1, 2021, 641 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in New Zealand - however, 99 of those have been classified as historical infections.
To date, New Zealand has recorded a total of 2458 confirmed cases.
Playa Zahara update
The Playa Zahara arrived into Lyttelton Port on Sunday morning and is now secured at a quarantine berth within the port exclusion zone. This means it is in an area that is not accessible by the public.
"A comprehensive safety plan has been developed and the risk to port workers and the public is deemed low," the spokesperson said.
"In accordance with the plan developed by Canterbury DHB's public health team and the Government cross agency team, five of the crew members will isolate aboard the fishing vessel and the remainder will be transported to managed isolation and quarantine facilities in Christchurch."
Testing carried out at Port Taranaki on July 13 found 16 of the 18 crewmen were positive for COVID-19. All crew members will be retested on Sunday.
Welfare and health checks will be conducted on the crew remaining aboard the vessel and plans are in place should any of them become unwell. Customs will maintain a presence at the port throughout the operation.
Update on Victoria
Public health officials are closely monitoring the situation in Victoria, which has been placed under a snap lockdown due to a growing number of COVID-19 cases.
Anyone who has been in Victoria since July 8 is encouraged to keep checking the Victoria Health website for locations of interest, which continue to be identified.
People who have been at these potential exposure sites at the relevant time should immediately isolate at their home or accommodation and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing.