Covid-19 neighborhood case: Supply of an infection ‘the large unknown’

University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker

The precise supply of Auckland neighborhood instances is the “large unknown” and there may very well be different instances, epidemiologist Michael Baker says.

University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker

College of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker
Picture: College of Otago, Wellington / Luke Pilkinton-Ching​

Auckland is in alert stage three lockdown and the remainder of the nation in stage 2 in response to the neighborhood instances introduced yesterday afternoon.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed the neighborhood instances are the UK variant of the virus based on genomic sequencing. She mentioned it was unlikely to have been a breach from managed isolation and quarantine services.

The instances are a mom, father and daughter who stay within the South Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe. One other family contact has examined damaging. The mom works for laundry and catering firm LSG Skychefs, which companies planes on the airport.

“It’s extremely a lot a repeat of the Auckland August outbreak. Hopefully it will likely be a lot smaller and extra contained,” Prof Baker advised First Up.

“Nevertheless it’s the identical state of affairs the place you might have instances in the neighborhood, you do not have a direct sure hyperlink to the borders.”

The priority shouldn’t be realizing precisely the place the outbreak got here from, Baker said.

“And meaning there may very well be different instances in the neighborhood – there should be – who hyperlink this household to somebody on the border.”

The most effective end result can be if that was a small variety of instances, and testing will work out if that’s the case, he mentioned.

“[The mother] shouldn’t be a entrance line border employee. The massive unknown is she obtained contaminated, assuming she was the primary case in that family, we won’t make any assumptions.

“There’s nonetheless no documented examples of individuals being contaminated by means of what we name fomites – that is surfaces or objects.

“It is nonetheless a reasonably unlikely type of transmission.”

Baker mentioned new variants of Covid-19, such because the UK pressure, have the identical mode of transmission, and it is the identical methodology to cease the unfold. “It is simply that we’ll need to work more durable as a result of it is a extra infectious variant,” he mentioned.

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