Saturday, December 4

Covid-19: Four new community cases include a nurse at Auckland City Hospital


New Zealand has four new cases of Covid-19 in the community, all related to the case discovered yesterday, which is confirmed as the highly transmissible Delta variant.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

One of the new cases is a nurse from Auckland Hospital.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told RNZ Morning report the health worker was fully vaccinated

“The healthcare staff is very well versed in mapping these issues and has done so in the past.

We have had positive cases of Covid in our healthcare workforce before. What’s different this time around is that we have this individual who is fully vaccinated. “

Ardern said the four new cases were the 58-year-old Devonport man’s co-worker and the co-worker’s close or domestic contacts.

“Confirm that level 4 is the correct decision,” Ardern said.

“These measures have worked before and will work again.”

Auckland City Hospital has taken some immediate steps to stop any possible spread.

This included unnecessary movement between wards, testing all staff and patients in the ward where the healthcare professional was working, and withdrawing, testing, and isolating staff from the same ward.

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Ardern said the tests can provide more information on a possible source or connection to the border.

“Once we get the genome information that then starts to help us narrow down potential sources, but it’s not something I can provide more information about right now, we’ll be looking to give an update at 1pm if we can.”

Any decision about longer lockdowns will be affected by the extent of the infections, he said.

“If we identify that the source was potentially a case from some distance from where we identified this community case, that gives you an idea of ​​how many others may be affected.

“Whether or not we have potentially unknown cases that are further from the eventual index when we find it, that will be the kind of information we are looking for to make those decisions.”

The new cases weren’t necessarily surprising, he said – with the old variants, not everyone a case was in contact with would become infected or even everyone in their household, but the likelihood of transmission of the Delta variant is greatly increased.

Border link ‘provisional’ indication

Epidemiologist Nick Wilson said Morning report that the Auckland nurse, being one of four new cases, gave a tentative indication of a link between the outbreak and the border.

“It gives a possible link to the border in which we know that yesterday there was a person with Covid in a hospital, according to the website of the Ministry of Health.

“And indeed there have been occasional cases in recent months [of] people who go to MIQ take Covid quite seriously and have to go to hospital.

“So, it is possible that this hospital worker was infected through one of those cases when he was hospitalized from the border.

“That gives us a tentative idea of ​​what may have happened, but we absolutely need genomic evidence to clarify that and other research, of course,” he said.

With the number of new cases announced this morning, there is a greater possibility that cases in the community will be highly infectious, Wilson said.

“Some people will spread Covid quite a bit and others quite often will not pass it on to anyone else, so it is concerning that these other cases exist, but it is also somewhat reassuring that we have a potential link to the border here.”

Wilson said the government’s decision to move the entire country to the level 4 lockdown was justified, as any close contact from the new cases would now be at home.

“This tough and early response is definitely very appropriate and the government is really making the right decisions about it. It is going to increase the chances of a successful control and we really want to avoid any situation like Sydney with a late response and ending with a deadlock situation. dragged on “.

***

This is an official COVID-19 ALERT.

All New Zealand You are now at Covid-19 Alert Level 4.

The alert level will be reviewed after 3 days for all areas EXCEPT Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, which will likely remain at level 4 for an initial period of 7 days.

A community case of Covid-19 has been identified.

Stay at home whenever possible and follow level 4 alert guidelines. This will stop the spread of COVID-19 and SAVE LIVES.

All are asked to:

Wear a mask and keep a distance of 2 meters from others when you leave your house.

If you are sick, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on getting tested.

Keep scanning QR codes every time you leave your home.

Practice good hygiene: wash your hands often.

Services including supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics and gas stations will remain open at alert level 4.

For more information on Alert Level 4, go to [the government website www.covid19.govt.nz]

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Kia Kaha – Stay strong


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