New Zealand health authorities said Sunday, January 24, that they had recorded the first local case of the novel coronavirus in more than two months.
A 56-year-old woman, who had recently returned from Europe, tested positive ten days after undergoing a mandatory two-week quarantine. She had noticed symptoms of the new coronavirus several days before she was tested.
An active search for contact cases began, as the woman and her husband spent several days in the Northland region, in the north of the archipelago, when they were likely to be infectious. They had visited about thirty places.
Health Secretary Chris Hepkins said it was still too early to decide whether full or partial containment should be applied again. “We don’t know the source or strain of the infection,” he told a news conference.
The woman returned to New Zealand on December 30 after spending four months in Europe, mainly Spain and the Netherlands. She was released on January 13 from the hotel where she was placed in quarantine in Auckland.
New Zealand has been widely praised for its good management of the pandemic, with 25 deaths attributed to Covid-19 and 1,927 confirmed cases out of a total population of around 5 million.
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