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1 new case of COVID-19

1 new case of COVID-19

Posted July 17, 2020

Media Release: Ministry of Health

There is one new case of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation in New Zealand today. It has been 77 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source.

Today’s case is a man in his 30s who arrived in New Zealand on July 10 from Pakistan via Dubai. He is in quarantine at the Sudima Hotel in Rotorua.

Seven people previously reported as having COVID-19 are now considered to have recovered, bringing the number of active cases in New Zealand to 21.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now 1,199, which is the number reported to the World Health Organization.

There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.

Yesterday, laboratories completed 2,497 tests, 528 of which were taken at managed isolation or quarantine facilities.

The total number of tests completed in New Zealand to date is 438,720.

Recovery criteria strengthened

The clinical criteria for recovery from COVID-19 in New Zealand have now changed following a review of the criteria, which includes ensuring alignment with our Australian counterparts.

The strict criteria applied before an individual with COVID-19 is regarded as recovered and able to be released from quarantine or isolation are that it must be at least 10 days since the onset of symptoms or positive test if the person was asymptomatic, and at least 48 hours without symptoms.

The 48 hours will now increase to 72 hours as an extra precaution.

The new recovery criteria are in line with the approach taken in Australia and fit with guidelines from the World Health Organization.

The review confirmed that the virus can persist in cases who have recovered but are no longer infectious. This is why testing is not routinely done in New Zealand or Australia to determine recovery, although it may be done if clinically indicated.The Director-General talked yesterday about a recent case where an individual who had been assessed as recovered and then received subsequent medical treatment in Middlemore hospital for an underlying health condition and returned a positive result for COVID-19 as part of their hospital care.

As a result of that positive test result, the individual was returned to the quarantine facility in Auckland and reassessed by the clinician in charge. Their clinical view was that the positive test was a result of residual virus; the symptoms were related to an underlying condition and the individual had recovered and was confirmed as low risk.

The Ministry of Health would expect from time to time other instances where this happens and will continue to be guided by clinicians’ judgement in application of the guidelines.

The recovery criteria are designed to ensure people have recovered from COVID-19 and are not infectious and therefore do not pose a risk to the community.