A child under investigation after testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Japan after travelling from New Zealand will be re-tested this week, the Director-General of Health said.
Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the child got a “weak positive” result from a rapid antigen test on Friday, and authorities believe the case is either a false positive or an old case.
Bloomfield also noted all of the family members tested negative in New Zealand prior to departure last Thursday.
He said the child would be re-tested on Thursday Japan time using the PCR technique, which New Zealand uses to diagnose people.
“We’ve also asked our Japanese colleagues to undertake a serology test of the case and family members – that will help us confirm whether this might be a historical case,” he said.
“That family is in managed isolation in Japan. Other family members returned negative tests on arrival.”
He reiterated that any risks to the childcare centre the child attended was “very low”.
The family also flew on NZ5018 – from Napier to Auckland – on their way to Japan, Bloomfield said.
Anyone who was on the flight has been advised to be alert to any symptoms, and to stay home and get a Covid-19 test if symptoms arise.
The Ken Rei
Meanwhile the Ken Rei, the ship from Taranaki with close contacts to the port worker Covid-19 case, was allowed to dock in Napier Port today.
Crew have been symptom-free for six days and have tested negative.
The crew were in “good spirits”, Bloomfield said.
No crew members would be allowed to leave the ship, and the Ken Rei will travel to Tauranga later this week, he said.
Fishermen at Christchurch’s Sudima Hotel
Bloomfield said today that a total of 29 Russian and Ukrainian fishermen have tested positive for Covid-19 to date – fewer than reported yesterday.
The men are staying at Sudima Hotel near Christchurch Airport. The hotel was placed in lockdown last week after the surge in cases.
Eighteen cases were detected at around day three of their stay, and a further eight tested positive at around day six when all of the group were re-tested.
Three further cases were found at day-nine testing.
“They are all being re-tested on day 12 – which is actually tomorrow,” Bloomfield said.