Dr Ashley Bloomfield on two new Covid-19 cases in NZ
The Ministry of Health has confirmed two new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in New Zealand.
In a statement released this afternoon, the Ministry of Health said the two new cases were related to the border as a result of recent travel from the UK.
The ministry said both cases were connected, but offered little further information, leaving questions for Dr Bloomfield's media briefing.
Dr Bloomfield said they were both women aged in their 30s and 40s respectively, and were from the same family who arrived in New Zealand from the UK on 7 June.
"A new case is something we hoped we wouldn't get, but it's also something we expected and have planned for."
They traveled from the UK via Doha and then Brisbane. Australian authorities were contacted to trace people in Australia, Dr Bloomfield said.
One had mild symptoms, the other was symptom free. Both had gone into self-isolation in the Wellington region.
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He said they were allowed to travel to Wellington in a private vehicle about a week later, on 13 June.
"They were in a managed isolation hotel in Auckland and were permitted on compassionate grounds to leave managed isolation to travel to Wellington via private vehicle."
He said there one only one additional family member who may be at risk, and they were being tested and isolated. Other potential contacts included people on the same flight from Brisbane and people who were in or had been in the same managed isolation facility in Auckland, including staff.
"There was an agreed plan in place as a part of the approval process for the compassionate exemption and that included the travel arrangements."
"The family has asked for their privacy to be respected."
Dr Bloomfield said the pair travelled to Wellington without using public facilities, and must have had a vehicle that was able to make the journey without stopping for fuel.
He said the situation exemplified why compassionate exemptions did not extend to funerals or tangihanga where there might be large groups of people
Staff who had contact with the pair would be stood down and tested, Dr Bloomfield said.
The new cases followed 24 consecutive days with no new cases in New Zealand, and eight days since the recovery of the last active case.