Sec­ond clus­ter con­cern­ing

The Timaru Herald - - National News -

There should be con­cern about the lat­est, small Covid-19 clus­ter, say an epi­demi­ol­o­gist and a Covid-19 mod­eller.

The coun­try’s sec­ond cur­rent clus­ter, now of six peo­ple and 31 close con­tacts, is con­nected to a man who was found to have the dis­ease af­ter he com­pleted his iso­la­tion pe­riod and twice tested neg­a­tive.

Two of the fam­ily of three who tested pos­i­tive this week left man­aged iso­la­tion in Christchur­ch and re­turned home to Auck­land on the same flight as a pos­i­tive case.

An­other fam­ily mem­ber then joined them on a trip to Taupo¯, where they joined 18 oth­ers from Bay of Plenty, Welling­ton, Christchur­ch and Hamil­ton.

Work is still un­der way to trace the source of his in­fec­tion, one pos­si­bil­ity be­ing that the man had an un­usu­ally long in­cu­ba­tion pe­riod.

A Covid-19 mod­eller, Shaun Hendy, says the ad­vice on iso­la­tion du­ra­tion needs to be ad­justed as more is learnt about the dis­ease and its pos­si­ble in­cu­ba­tion pe­riod.

‘‘We don’t know pre­cisely when the in­fec­tions took place, there’s still the pos­si­bil­ity that some­thing went wrong, there was some mix­ing or some con­tact be­tween peo­ple at the iso­la­tion fa­cil­ity,’’ he said.

‘‘There should be some con­cern about this lat­est case and I think par­tic­u­larly be­cause it is dis­trib­uted across the coun­try, it’s not con­fined to one part of the coun­try.’’

But he says: ‘‘This is not the worst case.’’

Hendy says he doesn’t ex­pect many se­condary cases of this clus­ter.

‘‘We have caught this rel­a­tively early so the con­tacts of these cases, they’ll be just en­ter­ing the pe­riod about now when they’ll be in­fec­tious.’’ Meanwhile, epi­demi­ol­o­gist Pro­fes­sor Sir David Skegg told Morn­ing Re­port the new­est clus­ter has the po­ten­tial to be very se­ri­ous.

‘‘This is just a re­minder that elim­i­na­tion is a process, not a des­ti­na­tion.’’

This will keep hap­pen­ing and it’s es­sen­tial we can keep on top of the cases, Skegg said.

He says we can­not be com­pla­cent. ‘‘We shouldn’t think that we’ve beaten this thing, we haven’t. It’s rag­ing around the world and it’s go­ing to keep crop­ping up in New Zealand from time to time.’’ Skegg doesn’t be­lieve man­aged iso­la­tion needs to be longer than 14 days. But says there may need to be dif­fer­ent, more strict pro­ce­dures for peo­ple trav­el­ling from the UK, United States, Europe and In­dia. - RNZ

Two new cases

Two new cases of coronaviru­s were re­ported in New Zealand in yes­ter­day. One case is in man­aged iso­la­tion and the other is from the com­mu­nity, linked to the Mt Roskill Evan­gel­i­cal Fel­low­ship church be­reave­ment sub-clus­ter.

The case con­nected to the Auck­land sub­clus­ter is a fe­male in her late teens who was al­ready self-iso­lat­ing and is a house­hold con­tact. The case in man­aged iso­la­tion is a man in his 40s who re­turned from Rus­sia on a flight via Tur­key and Malaysia on Septem­ber 19.

He re­turned a pos­i­tive re­sult to day three test­ing and is now in the Auck­land quar­an­tine fa­cil­ity. Three peo­ple are in hospi­tal with the virus – one at Auck­land City Hospi­tal, one at Mid­dle­more Hospi­tal and one at North Shore Hospi­tal. Lab­o­ra­to­ries pro­cessed 6465 tests on Thurs­day, bring­ing the to­tal to 937, 244.

Shaun Hendy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.