Health

Two Covid-19 cases in Wellington could put city confidence at risk

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"A new case is something we hoped we wouldn't get but is also something we have expected and planned for", said New Zealand's director general of health, Ashley Bloomfield.

Shortly after the cases were reported, Health Minister David Clark announced that the government is to suspend all compassionate exemptions at the border.

"They had no contact with anyone else".

Roberts' message was simple: "Test, trace and isolation is more important than ever".

"This case is clear - our expectations. have not been met in this instance", she said.

New Zealand said on Tuesday that it has two new cases of the coronavirus, both related to recent travel from the United Kingdom, ending a 24-day streak of no new infections in the country.

But before they were tested, the women had been given an exemption to leave quarantine on compassionate grounds and had traveled from Auckland to Wellington by auto.

"We have faced some action in the courts over our stringent approach, however, I think we need to be unapologetic about that, we need to make sure we are having a water type boundary and we don't have people coming in with Covid because our citizens have worked very hard to make sure that we don't have Covid here".

She said: "What this does prove is the importance of a rigorous system at our border", according to local news site NewstalkZB.

When it came to them leaving without getting a test, Clark says that ministers understood that was what was happening.

New Zealand is one of a handful of countries where community transmission of COVID-19 has been eliminated. They were given special permission to attend the funeral of a parent, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

She said New Zealand was ready for a second surge of cases, but the focus was on preventative measures.

The pair were allowed to leave two-week isolation early on June 13 on compassionate grounds and drove by vehicle to Wellington, making contact with no one on the way, health department director-general Ashley Bloomfield said.

That was because of the risk of an imported case of Covid-19 spreading into the community.

The two women arrived in New Zealand on June 7, via Doha and Brisbane, and stayed in a managed isolation hotel in Auckland.

Last week New Zealand lifted all domestic restrictions, declaring that the country was virus-free.

Anyone who arrives in the country is tested for Covid-19 and is required to undergo a 14-day period of quarantine or isolation.

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