Covid 19 coronavirus: Businesses scramble over Auckland cluster


New Zealand

There are nine new cases of Covid-19 today – one in the “marine engineer cluster” and eight in managed isolation.

On the first day of Labour weekend, New Zealand recorded no new community cases of Covid-19, further allaying fears of an outbreak after Auckland’s newest cluster.

There were 11 new cases announced, all in managed isolation.

Five of these cases are part of the day-six testing of international fishing crew in Christchurch.

Of Saturday’s other cases detected in managed isolation, one involved a family group of two people who arrived from Amsterdam via Singapore.

The other cases involved two recent arrivals from the United Kingdom and one who arrived from the United Arab Emirates.

All six cases returned positive tests at around day three, as part of the country’s standard border testing protocols, and were in quarantine.

However, the area of concern remains the Auckland marine employee cluster, which includes three other positive cases, and has businesses scrambling.

A marine engineer is thought to have caught Covid-19 while working on a foreign vessel before passing it on to two colleagues.

A household contact of one of the cases, it is unclear who, has also tested positive and was one of Thursday’s nine new Covid-19 cases.

The 27-year-old marine engineer is an electronics technician understood to work at Albany-based Wright Technologies.

According to experts, he’s a “hero” who may have saved the country from a new community outbreak by acting swiftly.

The man worked on a Liberian-flagged cargo ship named the Sofrana Surville, which arrived at the Ports of Auckland just before noon on Monday, October 12.

It had sailed from Papua New Guinea, to the Solomon Islands, to Brisbane, to Tauranga and then to Auckland.

On Tuesday, October 13, the engineer, garbed in a mask and gloves, stepped aboard the Sofrana Surville and got to work.

As more connections get announced each day, more businesses are discovering people who later went on to test positive visited them.

A pub and a gym have been forced to close, and a superyacht company and a marine supply store have been thoroughly cleaned.

All the staff from The Malt who were deemed close contacts to a positive case have negative tests results, including owner Kevin McVicar.

On Saturday it was revealed bed and breakfast guests of a man who recently tested positive for Covid-19 had not been contacted by health officials.

This was despite them coming into contact with the man on Saturday at his Coatesville BnB in north Auckland, Stuff reported.

The owner of the Coatesville BnB, aged in his 60s, crossed paths with his guests a day before the Ministry of Health announced the first case from the current cluster on Sunday.

The man was understood to work fulltime at Wright Technologies along with the marine engineer.

He and his wife were now staying at the Jet Park Hotel quarantine facility after earlier going into isolation at their home when news of the first case broke, Stuff reported.

Meanwhile authorities are urging New Zealanders to treat this weekend as a summer rehearsal with an intense campaign to encourage the use of the tracer app.

“The more we scan, the safer we’ll be,” director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins has also said it was “imperative” that people with symptoms get a test quickly. Auckland would have seven community centres open over the long weekend.

As of Saturday, there were 74 active cases in New Zealand. The total number of cases in New Zealand since the pandemic began is 1578.


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