NZ’s two new covid cases linked to South African strain in Northland

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NZ's Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins ... something happened at the Pullman Hotel to cause the spread. Image: RNZ

By RNZ News

The two new cases of covid-19 confirmed yesterday in New Zealand are the South African variant and initial results show they are connected to the Northland case at the Pullman Hotel.

This morning the Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, confirmed to Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins that preliminary genomic sequencing results showed a link.

The pair completed their managed isolation in the same facility and at the same time as the Northland community case.

They left quarantine at the Pullman Hotel on January 15 and have been living in North Auckland. They will now isolate in the Jet Park quarantine facility.

Hipkins said it was not an exact match but what they call “in the same tree”, so it is highly likely they are connected.

He says someone with the virus was picked up from the Pullman and taken to the Jet Park Hotel which appears to be the source.

Cause of the spread
Hipkins says something happened at the Pullman to cause the spread and they are now trying to work out whether it was something like an interaction in the lift or exercise area.

People who visited locations of interest in Auckland or anyone with symptoms, are asked to isolate and call Healthline 0800 611 116 to arrange a test and remain isolated until they receive their result.

The list of locations is here.

RNZ’s Live Blog with updates on the covid outbreak is here.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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