Covid 19 coronavirus: Ministry of Health reveals latest case numbers on first day of transtasman bubble

The Ministry of Health is due to release the latest Covid-19 case figures as New Zealand welcomes thousands of Australians onto our shores today.

At 1pm today, the ministry will deliver a statement of any new developments in case numbers.

While no new community cases were announced yesterday, there were four in managed isolation.

One of the four cases was historic.

Two of yesterday’s cases in MIQ arrived in New Zealand from Kenya on April 10.

The other arrived from Pakistan on April 15.

The historic case arrived from Papua New Guinea via Singapore on April 14 and was tested on arrival. They are no longer infectious, the ministry said on Sunday.

As at 1pm Sunday, total number of active cases in New Zealand was 102.

Families reunited

Meanwhile, families who have been separated by the potentially deadly virus for more than a year will be reunited for the first time today.

Most people on board flights bound for Australia this morning were eagerly awaiting a reunion with family or friends across the ditch, and the aircrew were also excited to be flying again.

Australians and New Zealanders reunited in Sydney to the backdrop of balloons, signs and the music of Kylie Minogue blaring through a speaker.

There were lots of tears and hugs as parents, siblings, cousins and friends reunited for the first time in over a year.

Most families did not linger at the airport – eager to get out into the Sydney sunshine and enjoy each other’s company again.

The Ministry of Health said this was a “timely reminder that people who visit New Zealand as part of quarantine-free travel will be able to download the NZ COVID Tracer app – there are no restrictions”.

“People may need to search their App Store or Google Play for ‘NZ COVID’ not just COVID as the search will prioritise the app from their country, therefore adding ‘NZ’ will be important to discovering the app,” a ministry spokesman said.

Grand Millennium investigation

It comes as the Government comes under increasing pressure on its MIQ testing regime.

A security guard – whose firm was contracted by the Government to work at the Grand Millennium MIQ facility – tested positive for Covid last week.

It was subsequently revealed that he had not yet received the vaccine.

As well as this, he had not received a Covid-19 test since November last year – National leader Judith Collins said this was “unfathomable”.

But First Security – the company the guard worked for – said that the Government’s testing register didn’t raise any red flags until March 26.

This led to questions being raised about the efficiency of the system.

Last week, Chris Hipkins offered somewhat half-hearted confidence in the Government’s frontline testing register.

Although he has referred to it as a “good tool”, he has doubled down on the fact the ultimate onus is on the employers of private frontline staff.

“I wouldn’t say there was a failure to oversee testing,” he said last week.

He said case B – the security worker – had been sent “at least four text messages” telling him to get tested.

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