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No new Covid-19 cases in the community were announced today – but 17 cases were detected in MIQ during the past two days.
Twelve of the 17 new MIQ cases involve travellers from India via the UAE, arriving here between March 30 and April 3.
Two travelled from England, one from the USA, one from Ethiopia and one from the Philippines.
Officials released the information shortly after 1pm, just hours before Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to release details of the much-anticipated travel bubble with Australia.
She is scheduled to speak about 4pm, after today’s Cabinet meeting.
The Ministry of Health says today’s managed isolation case numbers underscore the value of having in place day 0/1 testing for Covid, with 13 out of the 17 cases identified this way.
“All people arriving in New Zealand must remain in their rooms until those day 0/1 test results come back,” it said in a statement.
The ministry said it was common to see some of the day 0/1 cases reclassified as historical cases, which are not infectious.
“While the number of cases in managed isolation over the last two days is higher than in previous days, the average number of cases per day over the past week remains steady at four. Some of these cases are also contacts of known cases.”
Three people in managed isolation discovered they had Covid-19 only after being a contact of another case.
The person from the USA tested positive on day 12 of routine testing.
In addition to day 0/1 testing, the Government announced in January it was extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands as a measure to further strengthen New Zealand’s border response.
Four more people have recovered
The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is four.
An additional four people have recovered, and the total number of active cases in New Zealand today is 74.
NZ’s total number of confirmed cases is 2168.
This year there have been 43 historical cases out of a total of 356 cases.
By the numbers
In the past two days, 4084 tests have been processed. On Sunday, 1848 were conducted and yesterday 2236 tests were processed.
In the past seven days, 26,705 tests have been processed, with a seven-day rolling average up to yesterday of 3815 tests.
The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,917,574.
“Lower testing numbers were always expected over the long weekend as New Zealanders made the most of the extra time with friends and whânau and the freedom of movement we currently enjoy,” the ministry said.
The NZ Covid Tracer app now has 2,773,714 registered users.
Total poster scans reached 240,682,760 and users created 9,011,042 manual diary entries.
In the past 24 hours to 1pm, there have been 426,792 poster scans.
No community cases of Covid-19 were revealed in the last official update on Sunday. There were six positive cases identified then in managed isolation, the Ministry of Health said.
Of those six, two travelled together and arrived in New Zealand from Egypt, via the United Arab Emirates, last Thursday on April 1.
Both tested positive during routine testing soon after arrival in NZ and are carrying out their 14-day managed isolation at a facility in Auckland.
Another traveller came from the US, via the United Arab Emirates, last Friday. They also tested positive for the virus around day zero of their stay in managed isolation.
Two of the recent arrivals to test positive arrived from India, also via a flight from the United Arab Emirates, but on different days.
The first arrived here on Sunday, March 21, and tested positive around day 12 of their two-week quarantine period.
The second person from India arrived on a flight on Tuesday, March 30, and tested positive around day two of their stay.
The sixth person to test positive for Covid-19 arrived from the United Kingdom, via Singapore, on Monday, March 29. They returned a positive test around day three of their quarantine.
Transtasman bubble announcement today
Today’s update comes as the Government is poised to give a transtasman travel bubble the go-ahead.
It will mean anyone travelling from Australia will not have to carry out the 14-day managed isolation period on arrival.
It is understood people will not be required to be vaccinated against Covid to be able to fly to or from New Zealand.
The PM is set to make the announcement at a media conference this afternoon, after meeting with Cabinet ministers to discuss the bubble.
Air New Zealand is already planning to operate quarantine-free flights from as early as next Monday, April 12, from Auckland to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
That date is not necessarily what Cabinet ministers will decide on.
There is, however, an expectation that the bubble will start before the end of the month.
Despite all that, anyone planning a trip across the Tasman – on either side – will get a “flyer beware” warning.
People will be urged to have a plan in place in case they find themselves stuck either in Australia or New Zealand due to a sudden lockdown, for example.
Ardern is expected to explain what Government officials plan to do in different situations concerning the potential burst of the travel bubble.