Third case of COVID-19 confirmed in New Zealand

The third case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in a New Zealand resident.

The third case is an Auckland man in his 40s who has close family, also New Zealand residents, who have recently returned to this country after visiting Iran. Results of the test were formally reported to the Ministry at about 6pm on Wednesday evening.

Last night, health authorities notified the man and his family of the result and started the process of contact tracing.

This third case of COVID-19 is classified as what we suspect is a case of family transmission. There is what appears to be a clear link with travel to Iran by a close family member. Our view remains that with continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak remains low.

The man confirmed with COVID-19 is in self-isolation at home with appropriate clinical support from public health and district health board staff. Self-isolation at home is an appropriate response for people with mild to moderate symptoms and is recognised by the World Health Organization. He doesn’t require hospital level care and neither does anyone else in the home.

Three other members of the man’s family had previously been unwell, none seriously. They have now fully recovered and are with him in self-isolation.

This is a precautionary measure. No one else in the family is displaying symptoms presently and no one else is currently being tested.

Public health officials last night began tracing the other close and casual contacts of the three family members who had been unwell to ensure appropriate protection measures are in place.

That includes the flight on which two family members recently arrived in New Zealand from Iran. Those flight details are:

Qatar QR0920 Doha to Auckland, departed 22 February, arrived Auckland 23 February.

In addition to proactive tracing of close contacts on this flight by public health staff, contact will be made with everyone on the flight to provide relevant information. A reminder: close contacts are people who were in the same row of seats, the two rows in front and the two rows behind.

Healthline knows the seat numbers and will be able to advise anyone on the flight, whether they are considered a close or casual contact.

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