New Zealand reports 5 cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation

WELLINGTON, March 8 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand reported five cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation on Monday, with one border-related case reported Sunday to be officially added to Monday's tally.

There are no new cases in the community, according to the Ministry of Health.

The border-related case, an airline crew member, was identified Sunday as a part of routine surveillance testing. The person has been transferred to Auckland's quarantine facility, and household contacts have tested negative but remained in isolation at home as a precaution, said a ministry statement.

As the case has remained symptom-free, public health staff are conservatively considering that the patient has been infectious since the last negative test on Feb. 28, it said.

"The most likely scenario being investigated by health staff is that the air crew member was exposed overseas and therefore, most likely was either incubating, or infectious with, COVID-19 before being vaccinated later in the week," the statement said.

The vaccine requires two doses and takes around two weeks until it begins to provide protection. The crew member has had the first dose. The second dose is given at least 21 days after the first, it said.

"It is not possible the crew member caught COVID-19 from this vaccine as it does not contain any live, dead or deactivated virus," it said, adding the vaccine doesn't cause people who have had it to test positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the five new imported cases came from India and Brazil, and have remained in managed isolation facilities in Auckland, said a ministry statement.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 78, and the country's total number of confirmed cases is 2,049, it said.

The Auckland region moved to COVID-19 Alert Level Two from 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning for a week. At Alert Level Two people can go to school and work, travel between regions, and attend gatherings of up to 100 people.

The remainder of New Zealand is at COVID-19 Alert Level One. Masks are still mandatory on domestic flights and all public transport at Level One. Enditem

[ Editor: Junye ]