Pakistan Cricket Team cautioned against isolation breaches

And other Covid-19 updates for today- Thursday, November 26, 2020

Chateau on the Park Hotel in Christchurch, where the Pakistan team has been placed in isolation (RNZ Picture by Nate McKinnon)

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Wellington, November 26, 2020

Six members of the Pakistan Men’s Cricket team have tested positive for Covid-19 at their managed isolation facility at the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch.

Fifty-three members of the squad arrived in Christchurch on November 24, 2020 and were tested on Day 1. These cases are the results of those tests. All team members returned a negative Covid-19 test and passed a symptom check before departing Lahore.

A Health Ministry announcement said that all cases are being moved to quarantine rooms within the facility.

“Members of the team will be tested a minimum of four times while in managed isolation. As a result of these positive tests, members of the team will not be able to leave the facility to train. Any training is conditional on a public health assessment, so at this time, no training will be able to take place,” a Ministry official said.

A Canterbury District Health Board Officer has sent a letter to the squad’s management to be communicated to the whole team, reinforcing that all team members are required to stay in their rooms until advised otherwise.

Meanwhile, some sections of the media were reporting that an ‘Official Warning’ will be issued to the Team if its members continued to breach isolation and quarantine regulations.

Air New Zealand Crew infection

Genome sequencing results show that an Air New Zealand crew member who this week tested positive for Covid-19, was likely to have been exposed to the virus overseas.

The genome testing shows that the infection is not associated with any New Zealand cases that have been sequenced to date.

“The Health Ministry continues to investigate how this most recent confirmed Covid-19 case was contracted. Although the source is unknown, we are continuing to take precautionary actions within New Zealand. The Ministry has sent out six New Zealand Tracer push notifications to 96 App users for the locations visited by the case,” an official said.

Further identification progressing

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service is continuing to identify any locations of interest the person may have visited and any associated close contacts.

Twelve close contacts have been identified to date.

“The person visited several Auckland shops on Friday (November 20) and Saturday (November 21) The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) is asking staff and shoppers who were at these stores at specific times to take particular actions,” the official said.

Information about the shops, times and what people should do is here.

Mask guidelines updated

The Health Ministry has updated guidance on the use of N95 masks for staff working in Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facilities.

The updated guidance follows a Ministry review of concerns that border workers at isolation and quarantine facilities could catch Covid-19 by transmission through the air.

“Protecting our frontline MIQ workers is a top priority in the ongoing effort to eliminate Covid-19. We are always improving our approach based on what we learn from experience and the growing global knowledge of how the virus operates. The updated guidance reflects that,” an official said.

The key change in the new guidance is that N95/P2 masks are recommended when two-metre physical distancing cannot be maintained from a confirmed or probable case of Covid-19, for example, when entering a confined space such as a guest’s room. 

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