New Zealand

New Zealand announces new virus case day after ‘COVID election’

Agence France-Presse
New Zealand announces new virus case day after ‘COVID election’

A health worker conducts a test at a COVID-19 coronavirus testing centre in the suburb of Northcote in Auckland on August 12, 2020. - New Zealand's dream run of 102 days without locally transmitted coronavirus ended on August 11, prompting a stay-at-home lockdown order for the country's largest city. (Photo by DAVID ROWLAND / AFP)


The latest case involves a port-side worker who returned a positive test. The New Zealand Health ministry says the case's close contacts are in self-isolation.

New Zealand confirmed a new community case of COVID-19 Sunday, October 18, two weeks after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that the South Pacific nation had “beat the virus again.”

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the latest case involved a port-side worker who returned a positive test on Saturday afternoon, October 17.

“Because the person was tested on the day he was developing symptoms, the Ministry of Health was able to self-isolate close contacts,” Bloomfield said.

He was potentially infectious as early as Wednesday, October 14.

The announcement came a day after Ardern’s Labour Party won a landslide election victory, with her government’s handling of the pandemic widely credited as a factor.

Ahead of the vote, Ardern – whose party won 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament – had dubbed it “the Covid election.”

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She campaigned on her government’s success in eliminating community transmission of the virus, which has caused just 25 deaths in a population of five million. 

New Zealand declared in May it has beaten community coronavirus transmission, although a new cluster emerged in Auckland in August forcing the country’s largest city back into lockdown for several weeks. –

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