A man who worked at Port Taranaki has tested positive for Covid-19.
A man who worked at Port Taranaki and stayed at two New Plymouth hotels has tested positive for Covid-19.
On Sunday, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced the man, who is from Auckland but works on ships doing electronic maintenance around New Zealand, had tested positive for the virus yesterday afternoon and was self-isolating.
“This case has been caught early,” Bloomfield said.
“On Wednesday he was in New Plymouth working on a ship at the port there,” Bloomfield said.
* Coronavirus: One new community case of Covid-19 in Auckland
* South Korea Covid-19 case: Second positive test rules out testing error, man spent time in Queenstown
* All Covid-19 cases in Taranaki have recovered
“His close contacts from his work in New Plymouth are being scoped,” he said, and they were largely people he had worked with on the vessel at Port Taranaki.
The man was tested a few hours after developing symptoms on October 16. He wears masks and gloves when working and receives regular testing under border requirements.
A World Health Organization doctor caused some consternation this week when he suggested that lockdowns should be the last resort to control Covid-19.
Bloomfield said the man was in a “high-risk category” for contracting the virus as he works on ships for several hours a day and travels around the country.
“It’s very unlikely the ship he worked on Wednesday in New Plymouth is the source of the infection because it would be a very, very short incubation period,” said Bloomfield.
Other vessels the man has worked on in the last 14 days had been identified.
He also checked into local accommodation establishments on two separate evenings. Bloomfield did not name them, but said the hotel and motel had the rooms deep cleaned.
The Ministry of Health does not believe there are any close contacts there, but staff had been offered testing, he said.
The man then drove home alone to Auckland from New Plymouth on Wednesday evening.
Colleagues on the ship are considered close contacts. The ship has left Port Taranaki for Napier.
“No one on board is symptomatic at this time,” Bloomfield said.
Port Taranaki and the Taranaki District Health Board are expected to comment shortly.
More to come.