Sunday, July 21, 2024

NZ looks to Melbourne case link

New Zealand authorities are investigating whether a new coronavirus outbreak in the nation could be linked to Victoria’s wave of COVID-19 infections.

NZ Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield said he had contacted health officials in Victoria regarding a spate of cases from an ‘Americold’ cold storage facility in Melbourne after cases were discovered at an Auckland facility owned by the same company.

“You’ll be aware that we have been doing some environmental testing at the Americold store in Mt Wellington, that is being processed today,” said Dr Bloomfield.

“I have also had contact from my counterpart in Victoria who has linked me with their lab there, that is doing some genome sequencing on some cases of employees in an Americold cool store there in Melbourne, just again to see if there is any possible linkage there, so we are looking at that possibility, it’s part of the overall puzzle and we are leaving no stone unturned.”

New Zealand recorded seven new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Six of the seven new cases have been officially linked to the Auckland cluster at the centre of the outbreak.

Meanwhile, Victoria recorded 303 new cases and four deaths – two men and a woman in their 80s and one woman in her 90s – with two of the deaths linked to aged care facilities.

NSW has today chalked up nine new infections, with officials urging anyone who dined at Chopstix Asian Cuisine in Smithfield RSL club between Friday 31 July and Saturday 9 August get tested and self-isolate if symptoms occur.

NSW Health has also asked patrons who were at Rick Stein at Bannisters restaurant in Mollymook on Saturday 1 August to get tested and self-isolate immediately until midnight tonight or until they have received a negative result.

Western Australia has reported one new case of COVID-19 overnight, taking the state’s total to 646. The new case is a man in his 30s who is currently in hotel quarantine. There are now five active cases in WA.

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