Second person isolating at home in NZ dies – 163 new covid cases

MIQ security cameras
Security cameras ... two more MIQ "escapes". Image: Marika Khabazi/RNZ

RNZ News

A second person with covid-19 who was isolating at home has died in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

In this afternoon’s covid media briefing, where it was revealed there were 163 new community cases of covid-19 today, Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay said St John Ambulance attended a call this morning after an emergency call to an address in the suburb of Mount Eden and found a person dead on arrival.

The man in his fifties is understood to have been recently treated in hospital.

“Health authorities in Auckland are working with the police and ambulance crew to review the circumstances around the death,” Dr McElnay said.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said it was his understanding the dead man was admitted to hospital on Monday and discharged himself from the hospital on Wednesday.

He said there had been phone contact with them on Wednesday and Thursday.

“I am confident in the system. Obviously when we introduce a new system like self-isolation we need to continully monitor it and that’s happening,” he said.

Looking at wider system
“Between the Ministry of Health and the Auckland regional public health, they’re looking at both these specific incidents, but also at the wider system.

“It’s important to note there are still enquiries going on about the cause of death at the moment and we’ve just got to all make sure we allow that to occur.”

Robertson said before it was decided that a person could self-isolate, there was a public health assessment of issues like the circumstances of someone’s accommodation.

A medical assessment also determined the person’s suitability as a candidate for self-isolation.

“We’re not in a position at the moment to be able to say what the cause of death was for either patient,” Roberston said.

Dr McElnay said the coroner would look at both deaths.

Meanwhile, a covid-19 case fled a Hamilton MIQ facility this morning by removing a section of fencing and jumping into a waiting car, but were stopped by police a few minutes later.

It was one of two attempts to flee a MIQ facility in the past day, with another covid-19 case running away from the entrance to the Holiday Inn at Auckland Airport last night.

They were also caught within five minutes.

In a statement, Joint Head of MIQ Brigadier Rose King said every single event like this was “extremely disappointing”.

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

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