New Zealand reports first community exposure to Omicron
A fully vaccinated person who arrived on a flight from the United Kingdom spent two days in the community before the infection was detected
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New Zealand has reported its first community exposure to the Omicron variant from a person arriving from the United Kingdom earlier this month.
The person, who tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19, had briefly been active in the community in Auckland.
The recent international arrival reportedly returned a positive result on day nine of their self-isolation period but had previously returned three negative tests for Covid-19 while completing seven days of managed isolation at a facility in Auckland, the ministry of health said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The case arrived on a flight from the United Kingdom via Doha on 16 December and is fully vaccinated with a mRNA vaccine. No other Covid-19 infections have been identified from the individual’s flight,” the statement read.
The result of the person’s day nine test was received on 27 December and they were immediately transferred to an Auckland MIQ facility on the same day at which point the Omicron variant was confirmed.
Investigations are currently under way as to the source of the infection and public health officials are in the process of identifying and contacting all other known close contacts, and ensuring they isolate and get tested.
The individual was in Auckland city centre on 26 December and 27 December, but the health ministry did not believe that the person was highly infectious at the time. The New Zealand Herald reported the person visited a nightclub, bar, Chinese restaurant and a jewellers.
New Zealand has reported 13,986 confirmed coronavirus cases and 51 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to government health data. There have been 54 Covid cases reported over the past 24 hours with the majority of cases recorded in Auckland.
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