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Hawke’s Bay reports one new case of COVID-19

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Hawke’s Bay has one new confirmed Covid-19 case, taking the total for the region to 12.

Dr Jones said today’s newly confirmed case was not linked to overseas travel but was linked to the cruise ship Ruby Princess. This means Hawke’s Bay now has two confirmed cases directly linked to passengers off the ship who toured the region on 15 March. The first case was reported by the Ministry of Health on Thursday 26 March.

This newly confirmed case is in Hawke’s Bay Hospital, where every appropriate protocol has been followed. The person is in a stable and comfortable condition in isolation.

Dr Jones said close contacts of this case were being actively followed-up by Public Health teams and the National Contact Tracing Team.

In addition the district health board was actively tracking and tracing any cases that may not have met the criteria for testing over the past two weeks. Public Health was already working with tour operators and the Port of Napier to identify the people likely to have had the most contact with passengers. "This will be a big effort, but we believe it is important to try and identify as many people as possible to make sure no-one that potentially may have COVID-19 was missed."

Dr Jones said he was encouraged more cases had not been seen in the past two weeks, but he wanted to actively look back to ensure anyone that may have been ill, but had not been tested, was - to prevent further spread within the community.

"Household bubbles will definitely help, but given that illness can still spread within bubbles we need to be sure there are no on-going cases linked to the Ruby Princess within the current level four lockdown.

"We are fortunate it is now 14 days since the Ruby Princess was in port. The public should be reassured that if you have not developed symptoms from contact with passengers by now you are very unlikely to do so.

"However, if anyone believes they were in close contact with Ruby Princess passengers or crew, and had in the past two weeks developed symptoms of Covid-19, they were strongly advised to contact their GP so they could be assessed for referral to a Community-Based Assessment Centre for testing," he said.

Covid-19 symptoms include a cough, high temperature, runny nose, sneezing or shortness of breath.

"Staff are working around-the-clock so all known contacts are identified and I’d like to acknowledge the hard work they’re doing - its challenging and time consuming work," Dr Jones said.

Covid-19 symptoms include a cough, high temperature, runny nose, sneezing or shortness of breath.

People are also able to call Healthline’s free 24/7 dedicated COVID-19 number on 0800 358 5453 for advice. Interpreters are available on request.

Today’s Ministry of Health national case updates can be found here:

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