Covid 19 coronavirus: Four new cases in managed isolation; 2 more infections linked to UK strain

There are four cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation – and officials have linked two more cases to the rapidly-spreading UK coronavirus strain.

There are no new cases in the community, the Ministry of Health says.

Of the four new border cases:

•One is historical. This person arrived on 4 January from the United Kingdom via Singapore. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is in the facility in Hamilton.
• One case arrived on 5 January from the United Kingdom via Qatar. This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is in the Auckland quarantine facility.
• One case arrived on 5 January from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Australia.This person tested positive on day 0/1 of routine testing and is in •One case arrived on 29 December from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia and tested positive at day nine. This person is in the Auckland quarantine facility.

The total number of active Covid-19 cases in New Zealand is 62.

UK strain

The Ministry of Health says two more cases of Covid-19 have matched the UK strain.Both arrived from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.

“This brings the total number of variant cases sequenced in New Zealand to eight,” the ministry said.

“These people are all cared for with the same high level of infection prevention measures as all Covid-19 positive cases, with daily health checks and use of PPE. Infection prevention control protocols are in place for all staff and we can assure the public that there is no increased risk to the community. The UK variant is more transmissible than other variants of the virus but there is no evidence at this stage that the length of the infection period is any different to any other variant of Covid-19 is nor is it more likely to produce severe illness,” the ministry said.

Court lockdown

It comes after there was a virus scare in Hamilton yesterday which forced the district court to lockdown.

The lockdown was triggered shortly before 10am and was lifted around 11.20am, when members of the public were allowed out again. The court then closed for the rest of the day.

A source has told the Herald that the lockdown was triggered because a woman who worked at a managed isolation facility had turned up at court and told a staff member she had a runny nose and was awaiting the result of a Covid-19 test.

The woman’s employer told the Herald that she was tested as part of routine Covid-19 swabbing for isolation and border workers.

The Ministry of Health confirmed the negative result yesterday afternoon.

Former anti-masker in Florida hospital now warns Covid-19 not like the flu

A man who did not believe Covid-19 was real and refused to wear a mask has sent an emotional plea from his hospital bed, where he is currently fighting the virus.

Struggling to breathe, Chuck Stacey warns people in the video to believe the dangers of Covid-19.

“I didn’t wear a mask. I should’ve. I didn’t.

“I believed this was just the flu, that it was all going to go away, that it was political. I didn’t think a mask would help.

“You don’t want to end up like me. I’m having trouble breathing. I may have to be intubated if I get any worse.”

The footage was shared by his friend earlier this week and shows the man in his hospital bed, struggling with coronavirus.

He says he was wrong to downplay the Covid-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 1.86 million people all over the world.

“My friend didn’t wear a mask because he believed the lies from our leaders. Now, he’s close to being intubated. He asked that I share this,” his friend, Daniel Uhlfelder, who shared the footage, said.

The man urges sceptics to protect themselves and those they love.

UK locks down as mutant strain tightens grip

UK PM Boris Johnson has revealed that one in 50 people in England are infected with Covid-19 as he promises to keep the country updated “jab by jab” on his mission to vaccinate the most vulnerable by mid next month.

Johnson joined UK health bosses for a Downing Street briefing to tell the nation their lockdown had been inevitable after a virulent new strain of the virus spread rapidly across the country.

Responding to criticism that plans to battle the outbreak were over-ambitious, health chief Professor Chris Whitty said that the plan to vaccinate 13 million of the most vulnerable was “realistic but not easy”.

Ominously, he also warns that restrictions might be needed next winter in the UK, where the virus remains in circulation like seasonal influenza.

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned that the changing nature of the virus meant vaccines will have to be altered.

“The virus probably will mutate. Different vaccines will be needed at that point,” he said.

Johnson also refused to confirm that schools would reopen before the summer holidays but insisted that it was a top priority.

England is set to remain in lockdown until at least March, and some measures could stay in place for even longer, as hospitals struggle to cope with the highly contagious new strain of the coronavirus.

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