New Zealand announces new coronavirus case

Agence France-Presse . Wellington | Published: 22:14, Oct 18,2020


New Zealand confirmed a new community case of COVID-19 Sunday, two weeks after prime minister Jacinda Ardern declared that the South Pacific nation had ‘beat the virus again’.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the latest case involved a port-side worker who returned a positive test on Saturday afternoon.

‘Because the person was tested on the day he was developing symptoms, the Ministry of Health was able to self-isolate close contacts,’ Bloomfield said.

He was potentially infectious as early as Wednesday, October 14.The announcement came a day after Ardern’s Labour Party won a landslide election victory, with her government’s handling of the pandemic widely credited as a factor.

Ahead of the vote, Ardern — whose party won 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament — had dubbed it ‘the COVID election’.

She campaigned on her government’s success in eliminating community transmission of the virus, which has caused just 25 deaths in a population of five million.

New Zealand declared in May it has beaten community coronavirus transmission, although a new cluster emerged in Auckland in August forcing the country’s largest city back into lockdown for several weeks.

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