After having successfully controlled the spread of coronavirus cases in the country, New Zealand is now reporting new cases as it eased its border restrictions. Among its recently reported two cases is an Indian man taking the total number of active COVID-19 cases in the country to nine after having none at all earlier this month, health officials said on Monday.
The man in his 30s travelled from India along with his wife. He had been staying at a hotel in Auckland. He came to New Zealand in an Air India flight, director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald. The second case involves a teenage girl who arrived from Islamabad via Melbourne on June 13.
Her family travelled with her and had tested negative, Bloomfield said. The teen was also staying at a hotel in Auckland with her family, the report said. However, both of the positive cases, and the people they are travelling with, have now been transferred to a different hotel for quarantine, the report said, adding that both of the new cases were tested on day three of their isolation stay.
Health officials said on Monday that all those cases involve people who have recently arrived and are in quarantine, and there’s no evidence of community transmission, it said.
The total of confirmed coronavirus cases since the outbreak began is now 1,513. On June 8, New Zealand reported no active cases of COVID-19 in the country for the first time since February 28. The country of 5 million people lifted almost all of its coronavirus restrictions this month after reporting no active cases.
New Zealand first went into lockdown on March 25, setting up a new four-stage alert system and going in at level four, where most businesses were shut, schools closed and people told to stay at home.
On June 8, all of New Zealand moved to level one, the lowest of a four-tier alert system. Under the new rules after moving into level one, all schools and workplaces can open. Weddings, funerals and public transport can resume without any restrictions.
However, with recent cases New Zealand is introducing stricter measures to strengthen its border as more citizens access increased flights to come home. “While the world enters this dangerous new phase, we remain in a phase of border containment,” the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said.
The government renewed its health order, mandating 14 days of quarantine, which also included a new measure to ensure that people arriving in New Zealand must have a negative COVID-19 test before leaving quarantine, and may be required to take multiple tests.