NZ considers possible lockdown in Wellington over covid case, says Bloomfield

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NZ's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield ... "Everything is on the table." Image: RNZ

RNZ News

New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says health authorities are considering a possible lockdown in the capital Wellington after a visitor from Australia tested positive for covid-19.

Dr Bloomfield told RNZ Morning Report that it was one option being looked at.

“Everything is on the table,” he said.

He revealed the Sydney covid-19 case — who visited Te Papa Tongarewa National Museum and spent three hours at a popular Wellington bar — was with his partner and has four close contacts.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has released locations of interest including the museum and Jack Hackett’s bar in Inglewood Place.

Epidemiologist Dr Michael Baker told Morning Report the travel bubble with Australia would need to be reviewed although overall it was “working well … we are learning as we’re going along”.

“We need to upgrade our alert level system. In Wellington now, we should be moving to the next alert level.

“At the moment, it is a very crude system, we just go to level 2 which is quite disruptive.

‘We need another alert level’
“We need another alert level which involves a lot more mask use but doesn’t disrupt normal activity.

Dr Baker said the good news was the travellers on the flight back to Sydney would be easily identifiable.

“The bigger challenge is the contact tracing for this visitor while they were here and we obviously need to know more about the nature of their movement.”

The contact tracing system in New Zealand was very good, he said.

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

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