New Zealand's Covid outbreak started with traveler from Australia who HAD been in hotel quarantine - as cases double AGAIN to 21

 New Zealand's growing Covid outbreak which has sparked a nationwide lockdown was caused by a traveler returning from Australia who had been in hotel quarantine, it was revealed today. 

The New Zealander flew from Sydney to Auckland on August 7 and self-isolated in the Government's makeshift quarantine facility at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

An investigation — which included analysis of positive samples — found the patient picked up the virus sometime in the days before travelling and tested positive on August 9. They were then hospitalized with the virus the following week.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claimed the breakthrough should help 'stamp out' the virus by tracking its spread back to the source. 

She said the fact the traveler had spent most of their time in quarantine or hospital suggested the virus hadn't been in the community as long as initially feared.  

It comes as case numbers of Delta in New Zealand nearly doubled overnight to 21, a worrying sign the strain is spreading.  

There are fears the mutant strain could undermine the 19 months of economically-crippling restrictions New Zealanders have had to endure to pursue the elimination policy.

Scientists have warned 'zero Covid' is near impossible with the Delta strain, which is many times more infectious than the original virus that emerged in China. 

It is already causing record numbers of infections and piling pressure on hospitals in Australia, which, like New Zealand, is desperately clinging on to a 'zero Covid' strategy. 

The state of New South Wales has struggled to contain its crisis, and is recording a record 600 new infections per day, fueled by the the outbreak in Sydney. 

More than 25million Aussies are now living under draconian lockdown rules and Australia is sending soldiers to guard its state borders in a bid to stop outbreaks from Sydney spilling over.

New Zealand's growing Covid outbreak which has sparked a nationwide lockdown was caused by a traveller returning from Australia who had been in hotel quarantine. The New Zealand national flew from Sydney to Auckland on August 7 and self-isolated in the Government's makeshift quarantine facility at the Crowne Plaza hotel

New Zealand's growing Covid outbreak which has sparked a nationwide lockdown was caused by a traveller returning from Australia who had been in hotel quarantine. The New Zealand national flew from Sydney to Auckland on August 7 and self-isolated in the Government's makeshift quarantine facility at the Crowne Plaza hotel

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claimed the breakthrough should help 'stamp out' the virus by tracking its spread back to the source

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claimed the breakthrough should help 'stamp out' the virus by tracking its spread back to the source 

The infected traveller arrived from Sydney on a so-called 'red zone' flight, arranged to bring New Zealanders back from Australia following its Delta outbreak.

All returning passengers are now required to quarantine in a hotel, ending the travel bubble between the neighbouring countries.

Investigators are now looking at security footage and room key use in the hotel and hospital to identify who the patient may have passed the virus to.

In New Zealand, people in hotel quarantine can only leave their room for exercise — but they must produce a negative test to do so.


Ms Ardern said the case would not have been cleared to leave their room because they did not return a test. 

Investigations are also looking into whether the virus spread inside the hotel after a family staying in a room across the corridor also tested positive.

'The compliance generally across these sites generally has been high, but we will continue our search in a thorough way,' she said. 

Ms Ardern hailed the investigation as a breakthrough, adding: 'We believe we have uncovered the piece of the puzzle we were looking for.'


Australia's outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant has spilled over to neighbouring New Zealand, where the country's first community case of Covid-19 in six months was linked to the New South Wales state

Australia's outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant has spilled over to neighbouring New Zealand, where the country's first community case of Covid-19 in six months was linked to the New South Wales state

The single infection sent New Zealand into a snap nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, with the city streets left largely deserted on Wednesday

The single infection sent New Zealand into a snap nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, with the city streets left largely deserted on Wednesday

Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield expects over 1,000 people to be contacted after authorities categorise 362 individuals as close contacts of Covid-19 infections

Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield expects over 1,000 people to be contacted after authorities categories 362 individuals as close contacts of Covid-19 infections

She said finding the outbreak's source also increased the 'ability to circle the virus, lock it down and stamp it out'. 

Officials said it was still unclear how the virus spread into the community and 1,000 close contacts of positive cases were being assessed.

Ardern ordered a three-day national lockdown - New Zealand's first in 15 months - when news of the first case emerged on Tuesday, with Auckland and nearby Coromandel facing restrictions for a week.

'We're all prepared for cases to get worse before they get better, that's always the pattern in these outbreaks,' she said.

But she said there were grounds for cautious optimism 'because we believe it wasn't here for long before it was found'.

A decision is due Friday on whether the three-day lockdown will be extended or end by Saturday.

New Zealand has adopted a policy of eliminating the virus in the community, rather than containing it, which has resulted in only 26 deaths in a population of five million.

Neighbouring Australia has been pursuing a similar 'Covid zero' strategy, but is struggling to contain outbreaks of the Delta variant.

Health authorities on Thursday urged mass Covid testing for an entire Outback town in far western New South Wales, where an outbreak that began in Sydney two months ago is spreading.

The area is grappling with Australia's first significant outbreak in Aboriginal communities, with specialist military health teams deployed this week to boost sluggish vaccination efforts.

Early in the pandemic, Wilcannia's roughly 750 residents put up signs on the town's limits asking travellers not to stop -- fearing the virus could obliterate an already vulnerable community, where more than 60 percent identify as Indigenous.

Meanwhile, Australia is sending soldiers to guard its state borders in a bid to stop Covid-19 outbreaks from Sydney spilling over, as the Delta variant shows no sign of coming under control.

To make matters worse, Sydney's Delta outbreak has not peaked and residents must brace for more deaths, authorities said on Wednesday, as Australia's largest city continued to break records for new daily infections despite a nearly two-month lockdown.

'We haven't seen the worst of it and the way that we stop this is by everybody staying at home,' New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney, the state capital. 

Australia's outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant has spilled over to neighbouring New Zealand, where the country's first community case of Covid-19 in six months was linked to the New South Wales state.

The single infection sent New Zealand into a snap nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, with the city streets left largely deserted on Wednesday.

New Zealand and Australia enforced similar policies based on the premise of 'Zero Covid' and were largely virus free for months. But the new outbreaks, coupled with the poor vaccine rollouts of the two countries, are undermining those efforts.  

Scientists have warned 'zero Covid' is near impossible with the Delta strain, which is many times more infectious than the original virus that emerged in China.  

In Australia, where more than 25 million are under lockdown, the Premier of Queensland has been forced to request troops to be sent to the border with New South Wales to help enforce tighter restrictions and stop the highly infectious Delta variant from passing through.

Annastacia Palaszczuk has repeatedly expressed fears about the rising number of cases in NSW and how that could spill over to Queensland, while chief health officer Jeannette Young said one Delta Covid-19 case in the state could spark another lockdown.

New Zealand's Covid outbreak started with traveler from Australia who HAD been in hotel quarantine - as cases double AGAIN to 21 New Zealand's Covid outbreak started with traveler from Australia who HAD been in hotel quarantine - as cases double AGAIN to 21 Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:56 Rating: 5

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