Security guard catches COVID-19 in NZ

New Zealand health authorities have unearthed a new case of COVID-19 in the community, though officials are hopeful of possible containment of the virus.

On Thursday, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield announced an Auckland quarantine hotel security guard had tested positive to the virus.

The 24-year-old, who has yet to be vaccinated, was tested after feeling a sore throat.

As the man worked through Easter, lives alone, and has not visited any locations outside their home and work, it is possible they have not passed on the virus to anyone else.

The only other person he has come into contact with outside of their workplace was a fully vaccinated person they carpooled with.

New Zealand has prioritised border workers in its vaccine rollout, but officials are yet to identify why he has not received even his first dose.

Dr Bloomfield said the answer was likely to be logistical issues.

“I don’t believe he has fallen through the cracks,” he said.

“We’re still finding out what the exposures might be of co-workers and of others in the community. Once we know that our approach will be precautionary.”

The man’s limited movements means the Ministry of Health has not named any locations of interest that would require other Kiwis to self-isolate.

Dr Bloomfield also revealed a large number of new infections in NZ’s managed isolation facilities.

A total of 19 new cases were announced on Thursday, meaning there have been 43 new cases in the past three days.

Of the 19 new cases, all arrived via one route from the United Arab Emirates, with 17 originating from India, where cases are skyrocketing.

Dr Bloomfield has foreshadowed tighter restrictions or testing for arrivals from the subcontinent.

“There is a very active global pandemic underway and sometimes it is easy to forget that in New Zealand,” he said.

The government has also ordered an audit of the impacted quarantine hotel, the Grand Millennium.

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