Child tests positive for Covid-19 in Japan – despite testing negative in NZ

Health authorities are investigating after a child tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Japan – despite testing negative for the virus in New Zealand.

A Napier child car centre has been alerted to the situation, but it was regarded as low risk,
Hawke’s Bay’s Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones says.

The child was also aboard an Air New Zealand flight from Napier to Auckland on October 22, Jones said.

Anyone aboard flight NZ5018 should remain vigilant to any symptoms of Covid-19, including a new or worsening cough, fever and a loss of taste or smell, and self-isolate or seek a test if they develop symptoms.

Parents of children at a Hawke’s Bay child care centre were told that a child, who is now overseas and had returned from overseas to New Zealand earlier this year, returned a possible positive Covid-19 test after arriving in Japan on Friday.

The entire family group, including the child, tested negative for the virus before leaving New Zealand however.

“Several close family members, who remain in New Zealand, have also been isolated and tested, and all have returned negative Covid-19 results,” Jones said.

Jones said health authorities in Japan were investigating the child’s case as a suspected historical case of Covid-19 or potential false positive case.

New Zealand continued to take a precautionary approach to the case as the investigation continued, he said.

He expected to have further test results back within 48 hours.

The Ministry of Health was in regular contact with Japanese health authorities and will provide information on the case through daily updates, Jones said.

Monday marked the fifth day in a row that no new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the community.

Five new cases were reported at the border, making the total of active cases in New Zealand 74.

Three of the imported cases were part of the international fishing crew isolating in the Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport, bringing the total number of mariners who have tested positive to 32.

The three cases today were tested at day 9 as they were part of the group who had previously been in close contact with other confirmed cases, the Ministry of Health said.

All of the positive cases are in quarantine.

The two other imported cases include family member of a positive case who is a recent returnee and both were already in quarantine in Auckland’s quarantine facility.

The other case is a recent returnee who arrived from Ethiopia via Dubai and tested positive on day 3 routine testing. This person has also been transferred to Auckland’s quarantine facility.

New Zealand’s total number of confirmed cases is now 1584.

Today is the fifth day in the row there are no new community cases after the two people connected to the marine engineer tested positive on October 17.

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