Origin of the circumstances, involving members of the identical household, continues to be being traced as Auckland begins three-day lockdown.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned on Monday that genomic sequencing of two current COVID-19 circumstances that prompted a lockdown in Auckland, the nation’s largest metropolis, confirmed they have been the variant B117, a extra transmissible variant first detected within the UK final 12 months
It’s the first time the variant has been present in New Zealand.
“We have been completely proper to make the choice to be further cautious as a result of we assumed it was going to be one of many extra transmissible variants,” Ardern mentioned in a Fb Reside put up on Monday.
There have been no outcomes but from the sequencing of a 3rd case linked to the Auckland cluster, all members of the identical household, the well being ministry mentioned.
“This end result reinforces the choice to take swift and sturdy motion across the newest circumstances to detect and stamp out the potential of any additional transmission,” the ministry mentioned.
Ardern ordered a three-day lockdown in Auckland following the invention of the brand new cluster, closing public venues and banning all gatherings exterior houses, aside from weddings and funerals the place as many as 10 individuals are allowed. Colleges will stay open for kids of important employees however others have been requested to remain at residence.
The nation has been broadly praised for its dealing with of the pandemic, reporting 25 deaths in a inhabitants of 5 million because the pandemic started a 12 months in the past.
The supply of the newest circumstances continues to be being investigated.
Well being officers mentioned a mom – who works for an organization offering laundry and catering providers to worldwide flights – and her daughter examined constructive on Saturday, earlier than the daddy returned a constructive pattern on Sunday.
New Zealand Director-Basic of Well being Dr Ashley Bloomfield mentioned the preliminary focus was on the mom’s office “due to its apparent connections to the border”.
However he added it was “too quickly to rule in or out” any supply of transmission and the girl had not been at work for eight days earlier than testing constructive.
Auckland, residence to 2 million folks, spent greater than two weeks in lockdown final August after a COVID-19 outbreak linked to a employee dealing with imported frozen freight however restrictions have been relaxed for months.
In January, New Zealand reported its first case in the neighborhood in months, which turned out to be the variant discovered in South Africa.
The most recent circumstances prompted Australia to droop quarantine-free journey with its neighbour.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Paul Kelly convened an pressing assembly late on Sunday and it was determined that each one flights originating in New Zealand could be categorised as “Crimson Zone” flights for an preliminary interval of 72 hours from Monday.
“Because of this, all folks arriving on such flights originating inside this three-day interval might want to go into 14 days of supervised lodge quarantine,” Australia’s Division of Well being mentioned on its web site.
The journey bubble was arrange in order that New Zealanders may get to Australia without having to spend 14 days in a lodge, though quarantine was necessary for folks travelling within the different course.