Asia-Pacific

New Zealand reports one new community coronavirus case after weeks without local transmission

New Zealand Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Source: AP

After weeks without any local transmission, there is a new community case of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

New Zealand health officials say they are confident in having contained a new outbreak of COVID-19 after identifying the virus in a maritime worker.

After weeks without a case of COVID-19 in the community, director general of heath Ashley Bloomfield has announced a man had returned a positive result for the virus on Saturday.

Dr Bloomfield said the man was tested on Friday within hours of developing symptoms, and had self isolated as a precaution.

"This is a case that shows our systems to identify cases early are working and we have a clear line of investigation into this person's infection," Dr Bloomfield said.

"This case has been caught early and the risk of onward transmission has been quickly contained."

The man worked on ships that have been in Auckland and Port Taranaki in New Plymouth.

Labour Party leader and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media after claiming victory  on 17 October.
The new case comes one day after Labour Party leader and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claimed victory in the general election.
Getty Images AsiaPac

The announcement came a day after Ms 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, Ms 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.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction's restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, VictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania.

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