It is believed that a worker at Auckland Airport, New Zealand that tested positive for COVID-19 contracted the virus from an international passenger.
As ABC report, results from genome sequencing linked the strain of coronavirus to an infectious passenger that arrived in Auckland from a “red zone” country on April 10th. The country and variant of the virus have not been made public.
Officials have maintained that the fully vaccinated worker did not have face-to-face contact with passengers and likely contracted the virus from cleaning planes. The case came the day after the quarantine-free trans-Tasman bubble opened between New Zealand and Australia.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has emphasised that New Zealand will contain the new COVID-19 case, after being briefed by Australian health officials. “They’re watching New Zealand, but they have high confidence that New Zealand has this in train,” he said on Tuesday.
“And, of course, given that the worker has been vaccinated, that will play into how they assess the case and the transmission capability.”
Mr. Hunt explained that both countries had highly developed containment systems in place.
“The New Zealand system has picked up a case, and we know that we have a highly infectious disease, but highly developed containment systems are in both New Zealand and Australia,” he said. “They’re on to this. We have full confidence in New Zealand’s system.”
Get the latest Travel news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged that health ministers and officials from New Zealand and Australia are “directly communicating” about the new case and that New Zealand anticipated new COVID-19 cases on both sides.
“When we opened, on both sides, we of course knew that we would continue to have cases connected to our border,” she said. “In fact, when we announced the date for opening the trans-Tasman bubble, Queensland was dealing with cases.
Prime Minister Ardern continued, “We accept that it’s going to be part of our journey together. I think Australia accepts that and, for both sides, we’re always looking for clear connection to the border. In this case there is.”
1800 Australian citizens travelled to NZ the first day it was open.