Joined: 09/02/2021 01:42:30
As New Zealand gets through its second day of travel with the transtasman bubble, the Ministry of Health will release its daily update on cases of Covid-19.While there were no cases in the community yesterday, there were two new cases in managed isolation.
They were both travellers who arrived from India before the temporary ban on flights from the sub-continent began on April 11.
Meanwhile, two central Auckland managed isolation facilities will be emptied as a probe into air conditioning begins.
With quarantine-free travel now beginning between New Zealand and Australia, the Ministry of Health urged travellers to download the Covid tracer app.
The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 102. One previously reported case has now recovered and another previously reported case has been reclassified to "under investigation".
Fresh investigations into the spread of Covid in MIQ operations at the Grand Millennium and Grand Mercure are underway after both hotels were closed to new returnees last week.
The reviews will look into ventilation as a potential transmission source of infection which has seen staff and returnees contract the virus.
The change would persist until the reviews concluded, expected at the end of the month.
The recommendation to close the hotels was made by a joint Ministry of Health and MIQ technical advisory group.
The group also recommended that all returnees currently at the Grand Mercure be tested at day seven of their stay, in addition to other testing. People in managed isolation are currently tested within 24 hours of arrival, on day three and day 12.
MIQ head Brigadier Jim Bliss said recent instances involving new variants had shown aerosol transmission played a "greater role" in how Covid-19 spread than previously thought.
The sluggish start to an investigation was slammed by epidemiologist Professor Nick Wilson, who said there had been concern since the Rydges case in August last year whose infection still hadn't been fully explained.
"This is all late in the day from my perspective, all these hotels should have had a rigorous review in terms of their ventilation systems from the very start," Wilson said.
He was keen to see the Government move away from hotels as MIQ facilities and instead look at purpose-built facilities away from cities, possibly on military bases.
''One male from the car punched a student in the back of the head and he had to be taken to Dunedin Hospital.''
Snr Sgt Dinnissen said it was not known exactly how many people were assaulted by the group, but he believed ''multiple people'' were attacked in the spree.
''We're looking for reports from those people.
''If they were assaulted as well, we want them to step forward so we can get more information on these people and hold them to account.''
He said a 19-year-old man was arrested for disorder and resisting police, and was given a formal warning.
Another 19-year-old man was arrested for assault and he too was given a formal warning.
A third 19-year-old man was arrested for assault and will appear in the Dunedin District Court on Thursday.
Three people were arrested in Dunedin last night for travelling around the student quarter in a car, verbally and physically assaulting pedestrians.
Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen said police received multiple calls from residents alleging a group of teenagers was driving around abusing people and getting into fights.
He said the vehicle was located in Frederick St about 9pm yesterday, and five people were identified as the culprits.