New Zealand is poised to learn if Covid-19 remains contained at the border as the Government announces new regulations to test all international maritime crew arriving in the country.
The Ministry of Health is due to give its update through a statement at 1pm.
It’s now been a fortnight since our most recent community outbreak when a marine engineer came down with Covid symptoms after he was infected working on board the Sofrana Surville in Auckland.
Since then three others connected to the 27-year-old initially through his workplace and then spreading onto their household contacts have fallen ill in the group deemed the marine engineer cluster.
Despite health scares and extensive self-isolation and increased testing across north Auckland businesses, including a Greenhithe pub, The Malt which remained closed for a fortnight, the potential community transmission appears to have been stemmed to the quartet.
Yesterday the health ministry announced crew on a second ship the man worked on in New Plymouth had undergone extensive testing and had all returned a second negative test result.
Crew of the cargo ship Ken Rei had been waiting out their period of self-isolation off the Napier coastline.
The ship yesterday departed Napier heading for Tauranga.
Maritime crew testing
Today health minister Chris Hipkins moved to further tighten the risk of the infection spreading through the border with the introduction of compulsory testing for all foreign maritime crew.
It will begin from next week with any maritime crew in managed isolation for more than 24 hours requiring a Covid-19 test.
At the same time foreign maritime crew leaving New Zealand will also be tested.
Meanwhile New Zealand authorities were continuing to work with their Japanese counterparts regarding a New Zealand child who returned a weak positive Covid-19 test after they arrived in Japan last Friday.
At this stage health officials suspect this was a historical case or a false positive result, and were due to provide further details when they became available.
As of yesterday there had been no community cases for seven days with all new cases contained in managed isolation having recently arrived in New Zealand from overseas.
Seventy people remained ill with Covid-19 in New Zealand yesterday.
There were 1593 confirmed cases in New Zealand since the start of the outbreak in February.
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