Six new cases in managed isolation, none in the community, according to the Covid-19 update for July 20.

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There are six new Covid-19 cases in controlled isolation and none in the general population.

The Ministry of Health said in a statement that the additional cases include three of the confirmed cases aboard the Mattina container ship, which is quarantined in Bluff with 21 crew members.

The additional six confirmed cases aboard the Mattina are expected to be added to the confirmed cases tally in tomorrow’s bulletin, as announced by the government this morning.

Symptomatic instances account for eight of the nine confirmed cases. They are healthy enough to stay on board, according to the ministry.

“The ship is currently in a secure quarantine area of South Port in Bluff and all crew remain onboard, while health officials work to determine the next steps for the crew members.”

The ministry said health officials will be closely monitoring the health and welfare of all crew members.

“Health officials have determined that the only port member who had contact with the ship crew is the Southport pilot, who went aboard the ship as it entered the port.

“Pilots are required to board vessels of this size when berthing. The pilot wore appropriate PPE and is fully vaccinated.

“Our ongoing case investigation shows the pilot had some contact with three crew members, however all three have returned negative test results.

“This means the harbour pilot, who has been self-isolating, is now not regarded as a close contact and will no longer be required to isolate.”

The ministry added that as a border worker, this person is subject to the regular border worker testing requirements.

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Playa Zahara update

The ministry said daily health and welfare checks are continuing for all crew members who remain onboard the Playa Zahara in quarantine in Lyttelton.

“None of the 16 previously reported confirmed cases from the Playa Zahara have been included in our case tally at this stage, as they remain under investigation to determine if they’re current or historical cases.”

The numbers

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Photo: Ministry of Health

According to the ministry, one of the previously reported cases has recovered.

A previously recorded case from July 16 has now been declared a historical case, according to the report. “It was recorded as a historical case in their native country, hence it has been deleted from our confirmed cases tally.”

There have been 99 historical cases since January 1, 2021, out of a total of 649, according to the government.

Five additional instances have been found at the border in the last seven days.

In New Zealand, the overall number of active cases has risen to 51, with a total of 2466 confirmed cases.

Yesterday, 3517 Covid-19 tests were processed across New Zealand. The total number of tests processed to date is 2,405,241.

Australia update

The pause on quarantine-free travel from Victoria and New South Wales will be reviewed again on Wednesday 21 July, the ministry said.

Advice for recent travellers from Australia:

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The ministry said so far, contact tracing has identified 31 people in New Zealand who have been in locations of interest in the two states at the relevant time.

“Of those, 28 have returned negative results. Two contacts are not yet due for their day 5 test and the test result for one contact is pending.”

Meanwhile, there has been a change to the rules around quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia that now allows people to return to NZ if they have been in ‘low risk’ states or territories for 14 days or more, as long as they meet the other conditions of entry. It also exempts people arriving from Norfolk Island from the pre-departure test requirement for entry into NZ on a quarantine-free travel flight. The change came into force from 11.59pm on 19 July 2021.

“This means that people who have been outside New South Wales or Victoria for 14 days or more, and who meet all other QFT criteria, can now return to New Zealand on normal quarantine-free flights,” the ministry said.

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“The change reflects public health advice that, with all the other safeguards, these people pose a low risk of bringing Covid-19 into New Zealand. Pre-departure tests are still required 72 hours prior to travel for all States/Territories except NSW (because people arriving from there have to go into MIQ) and now Norfolk Island.”

Vaccine update

Meanwhile, according to Ministry of Health figures, more than 1.4 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccination had been provided across the country.

More than 500,000 patients have already had their second shot. Mori make up 9% of the population, whereas Pacific people make up 6%.

Pfizer’s largest supply of vaccines, 370,000 doses, landed in the country on Sunday.

According to ministry data, the rollout was on track to be completed ahead of schedule. Whanganui DHB has given out 8600 more vaccines than it had intended, while Wairarapa was the furthest behind, 14 percent behind schedule.

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