Days to the General Election: 21
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.

Five new cases of Covid-19 in the community - four of which are linked to the Mt Roskill church mini-cluster; fifth case linked to Auckland cluster; seven new imported cases who were all on the same flight

Five new cases of Covid-19 in the community - four of which are linked to the Mt Roskill church mini-cluster; fifth case linked to Auckland cluster; seven new imported cases who were all on the same flight
Image sourced from Pixabay

There are 12 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand - five in the community.

Four of the new community cases are household contacts of the Mt Roskill church mini cluster. The mini-cluster remains linked to the main Auckland cluster according to genome sequencing. It is not epidemiologically linked.

The fifth community case is epidemiologically linked to another confirmed case.

The seven imported cases were all on the same Air India flight.

There are 11 people in hospital, including three in ICU.

Seven people with Covid-19 have recovered, so there are now 130 active cases in the country.

Of the 2475 close contacts of infected people identified, 2433 have been contacted and are self-isolating.

Yesterday, 11,010 tests were processed.

Here's the latest from the Ministry of Health:

There are five new cases of COVID-19 to report in the community today, all linked to the Auckland cluster.

There are seven new imported cases of COVID-19 - three men in their 30s, a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 20s, and two children. They all arrived in New Zealand on August 23 on the same Air India flight from Delhi, and tested positive around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation.

Of the five community cases reported, four are from one household and are linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Church sub-cluster.

The other case is epidemiologically linked to a confirmed case which has been genomically linked to the community cluster.

By this morning our contact tracing team had identified 2,475 close contacts of cases, of which 2,433 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and we are in the process of contacting the rest.

There are 161 people linked to the community cluster who have been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility, which includes 88 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household contacts.

There are 11 people with COVID-19 in hospital today; three in Auckland City, four in Middlemore, three in North Shore and one in Waikato. Eight people are on a ward, and three are in ICU – one each in Middlemore, North Shore and Waikato Hospital.

There are seven previously reported cases who are considered to have recovered today, bringing the total number of active cases to 130.

Our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now 1,363, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.

Testing

Yesterday our laboratories processed 11,010 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 730,330.

Widespread testing is a critical part of our COVID-19 elimination strategy and we continue to work with the broader health sector to carry out 70,000 tests over the next week.

In support of this, testing sites will be open this weekend, right across the country - this includes GPs and community-based assessment centres (CBACs).

Pop-up testing sites continue to move around Auckland communities to ensure nearby, easy and equitable access to testing, particularly for Mâori and for Pacific peoples.

Today there are pop up sites in South Kaipara, Mount Smart Stadium, the Massey Community Hub, Ranui Library, the Tongan Methodist Church in Mangere, the Mangere East Hawks Rugby League Club, the Tupu Youth Library in Otara, Randwick Park School, and Te Matariki Community Centre in Clendon.

The full up-to-date list of testing sites in Auckland is at www.arphs.health.nz/covid19test

The Ministry of Health website has advice on where you can find testing facilities in the rest of the country.

If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, wherever you are, please call Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your doctor immediately and have a test.

People who work at the border or in managed isolation and quarantine facilities will continue to have tests available, and those who are at higher risk will be re-tested over the next 7-10 days.

NZ COVID Tracer

NZ COVID Tracer has now recorded 1,895,000 registered users. There have been 331,397 posters created, and 22,455,004 poster scans to date. There have been 1,843,013, manual diary entries recorded in the app.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

49 Comments

Since the case count keeps remaining the same, shouldn't they be considering L3 extension in AKL?

Nope. All good as long as the cluster appears to be contained. There will be household contacts continuing to test positive.

they dont break that out in the daily report, so are brand these new cases? linked by church job etc, or people already in quarantine that have now shown they caught covid from family

I've been looking for this information but can't find it online. Sure if they are all already identified as close contacts and isolated already then cluster contained? But are one of the 5 an existing patients local diary owners sisters hairdresser? I've heard this breakdown sometimes discussed on the 1pm briefing but not watched it in a while.

They will re evaluate on the 6th ... I think we will have a week as normal and then have to go back to lockdown
I think we are coming out too early tbh

I don't understand how we can have confirmed a move to level 2 while they are still begging for Aucklanders to get tested to confirm that the move down to Level 2 isn't a really dumb idea.

exactly. L2 in 2 days is throwing in the towel

You proabably won't know by the 6th if the outbreak is contained due to incubation period & mild asymtomatic cases. Will know by the 13th or the 20th.

Have you not thought cluster is contained precisely because Auckland is in lockdown?

We still have big numbers of cars on the road, people jamming into beaches and reserves on weekends and lots of movement around the city. Level 4 this ain't.

why? it's pretty easy to avoid - I guess we will see if we have the collective IQ to use sanitizer and masks correctly.

some good news overseas fast testing on the way
Abbott Laboratories said on Wednesday it won U.S. marketing authorization for a Covid-19 portable antigen test that can deliver results within 15 minutes and will sell for $5.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/abbott-labs-ceo-testing-covid-19-at-mass...
The SalivaDirect test is cheap, fast, non-invasive and allows multiple people to be tested at once. And the brains behind it don't want a cent.
"This, I hope, is a turning point," New Zealander Anne Wyllie, one of the lead researchers on the SalivaDirect project at the Yale School of Public Health in the US, told ABC News.
"Expand testing capacity, inspire creativity and we can take competition to those labs charging a lot, and bring prices down. And that we can show people what can be done."
Instead of shoving a long stick up people's noses, the SalivaDirect test looks for the virus in their spit.
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/08/coronavirus-nba-and-k...

Note there are two different tests being referenced above. One is a 15 minute $5 test that doesn't need a lab to analyse the results. I don't know how sensitive or accurate it is. If this is accurate and sensitive, it has the potential to be a real game changer.

The second is SalivaDirect, which is really a method of doing an existing PCR test, but instead of a naso-pharyngeal swab, it's a swab in your mouth to collect saliva. It's much more pleasant for the patient. It is slightly cheaper to process than the naso-pharyngeal swabs, however it still requires a lab to process and therefore has realistic turnaround times of 24 hours, like the nose swab tests do.

2 points.
First, government target was 70,000 tests in S Auckland in 7 days.
So, are we being told how many they managed to do in period Mon-Thurs? in S Auckland? Not in all of NZ and not in Auckland as a whole.
Secondly, the Dir of Public Heath said yesterday at the press conference that it did not matter that there were continuing cases in more than one cluster. That does not necessitate a lockdown.
News media on TV made little of that but it answers the key question.
So, new lockdowns required if contact tracing works properly.
So, it would be nice if media could stop trying to have it both ways:

that is, they emphasise risk of lifting lockdowns and induce fear
then, when there is a lockdown, they whine about cost to economy.

Crux of news media whining re lockdown, I believe, is advertising revenue to those same media. When there is a lockdown, advertising revenue spend falls. So, 3 guesses why media being more anti-Labour since L3 reintroduced? And its not Michael Morrohar assiduous investigating

At a broader level you can still ask the question e.g. going down alert levels while still registering community cases vs. having continuous weeks of zeroes before we moved from L4 to L3. Masks at L2 needed but not when we went to the supermarket at L4. That sort of thing.

Probably justifiable from a medical point of view, but it does raise questions from the unwashed masses so I can't blame the media for writing to their readers.

they are testing all over south auckland , just came back from my walk to the doctor and walked past two testing stations + surgery testing but nobody there being tested , either all those that had symptoms went already or people heard about the queues and not bothering, doctor surgery was good though in and out in ten minutes not full of hoards of sick kids this time of year

There's a Hoarders program on the telly, but it's usually hoarding of papers and consumer junk, not sick kids. Is a New Reality-TV series imminent? 'Honey, I Hoarded the Kids'? And in case y'all are Wondering, I jest, kindly, mais naturellement.

or...they're essential workers or at work. There's a testing centre down the road from my house in a poorer part of West Auckland. Closes at 4pm. Great for retirees and WFH people who have been able to meaningfully isolate for the last two weeks, bad for people who have actually had to move about to get to jobs and would be the actual vectors at the moment.

"There are seven new imported cases of COVID-19 - three men in their 30s, a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 20s, and two children. They all arrived in New Zealand on August 23 on the same Air India flight from Delhi, and tested positive around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation"

Wonder whether we should be banning flights from India, it seems out of control there.

Also begs the question, when you have seven infected people on one flight, how long is it before flight attendants start getting infected and spreading...

this is where requiring a test before allowing people to travel here would be useful ( not to say it would be in anyway watertight ).

Getting tested pre flight does not seem to me to make any sense. Just Judith trying to get some airtime.

Travellers can always catch it in transit and I'd assume airports are hight risk areas. You would always need to assume (and have it setup correctly to handle it without a hitch) that every person going through the facility is CV19 +ve. If we get the process and facilities bullet proof then who cares if they arrive with Cv19.

Plus tests take time to turn around, so what about the gap in between?

Also, do you trust the foreign 3rd world health & test system? How do they prove they have been tested. Its not like there is a global WHO-backed I've-been-tested certificate... Some letter from some Random 3rd world doctor? Hmmm

Just create a hospital-military grade bullet proof quarantine process and kick peoples asses when they don't do what they are told.

that's not the Kiwi way. Ours is a hotel-civilian grade water resistant quarantine process that slaps people's wrists with wet bus tickets when they don't do what they are told.

We can't even get authentic test certificates for structural steel half the time, let alone test certs from a street doctor.

Yes , testing pr-flight would never be enough by itself - no one is saying that.
It would however reduce the number of Covid-positive arrivals and reduce pressure on our systems together with the risk of breaches.
" If we get the process and facilities bullet proof" is not something that is ever going to happen - even the Minister of Health and the PM say so explicitly - simply an impossible thing to do.

would have been nice if the media had asked have all the pilots and flight crew been asked to test and isolate -- or did they simply go home for a day or two - or fly out to another part of the country ?

pretty embarrassing listening to someone ask a question that made no sense - as she mixed all her facts up - but had the gall to come back and try again 10 mins later -

it was an air india flight (they dont fly here normally )they only stay a short time and fly out again, they were staying at the ramada hotel manukau

I just don't see this as sustainable, is there a plan? So what if we control this outbreak, what about the next, or do we live forever in isolation?
https://summit.news/2020/08/24/uk-government-scientist-admits-lockdown-w...

Exactly.

i think fast testing will change the land scape, that and bluetooth tracking, so if they find someone with covid, within hours they can find all the contacts for the last 14 days

Here is the plan, no what next

https://covid19.govt.nz/assets/resources/legislation-and-key-documents/C...

Executive Summary
This is the third National Action Plan and contains updates and additions to previous plans.This plan should be read in conjunction with the previous National Action Plan for further background and context.

The purpose of this plan is to direct the All of Government (AoG) and nationwide effort during the next phase of the response to ensure operational alignment with the strategic intent. The plan is also a single reference for the National Crisis Management Centre
(NCMC) objectives and high-level actions during the transition to a revised AoG response model.

This plan is from 23 April 2020 until the next iteration of the All of Government instruction. There are some key changes which build on previous versions. There is emphasis on relevant and achievable actions to simplify focus and support response activities in readiness for transition to steady-state management of the response to COVID-19. The plan is inclusive of immediate actions to prepare for contingency planning should a simultaneous event occur.

New Zealand’s strategy remains to eliminate COVID-19 and to stamp out transmission within affected clusters. This is in line with The New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan and the four-level COVID-19 Alert system. Whilst this is a short-term plan, some actions are ongoing or will extend through to the medium-term.

The third National Action Plan does not supersede other operational plans but can be read alongside them, for example, the COVID-19 Māori Response Action Plan; the Ministry of Health, Health & Disability Response Plan, and; the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan. This list is not exhaustive.

Recovery
Objective & High level actions
Understand Consequence
• Continue to monitor immediate, medium, and long-term consequences and identify new consequences to New Zealand, including identifying information gaps. Work with Intelligence function to request this information
Governance and Coordination
• Support DPMC, SSC and Treasury to scope the national recovery oversight and coordination arrangement options to manage and support recovery
• Engage with Strategy and Policy to consider and support the longer-term recovery strategy
Support the operational response
• Contribute to the planning process including the development of the National Action Plan Ensure recovery thinking is aligned and considered in response planning
• Plan for a formal move from response to recovery
Maintain function log
• Record all functional decisions and high-level activities

2nd NAP
https://covid19.govt.nz/assets/resources/legislation-and-key-documents/C...

In addition to Initial Action Plan1
.
On 21 March 2020, Prime Minister (PM) Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern introduced the National Four Stage Alert System for COVID-19, and announced that New Zealand was at COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce2.
On 23 March 2020, the PM announced that New Zealand had moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict. The PM also advised that as at 2359hrs on 25 March 2020, the country would be under COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate.

COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate will be implemented for an initial four-week period. The situation will be monitored and reviewed during this time and could result in the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate period being amended. Level 4 – Eliminate is a COVID-19 suppression strategy that aims to ensure that the health system capacity is not exceeded by preventing widespread outbreaks.

Strategic Objectives
1. Maintain public trust and confidence.
2. Enable a phased transition between COVID-19 Alert Levels in response to epidemiological evidence.
3. Maintain essential services and mitigate National response workstream issues identified by the Leadership Team
4. Identify and implement all necessary measures to support and maintain a suppression strategy while enhancing our capability to mitigate rapid case increases through isolated clusters.
5. Identify and implement measures to preserve the capability and capacity of the health system and increase to the fullest extent possible, the capacity and readiness of the health sector in anticipation of a peak ‘Manage It’ worst case scenario.
6. Coordinate the provision of an integrated National welfare response and ensure welfare agencies continue to provide essential services during the event.
7. Identify and address welfare issues such as the provision of accommodation, the delivery of food to vulnerable households, financial assistance and the care of children.
8. Assess the economic consequences and minimise impacts to businesses and households.
9. Preserve and, where required, coordinate essential services in support of the National response.
10. A cohesive national response enabled by an effective relationship between Government and the Private Sector.
11. New Zealand is viewed as a global leader through an appropriate and example-setting response.
12. Ensure the provision of open and transparent communication to the public.
13. Provide consistent communication across national, regional, and local response levels to ensure the widest dissemination of accurate information.
14. Maintain a functioning supply chain in support of essential services and national critical equipment.
15. Ensure the protection of lifelines infrastructure commensurate with the response.
16. Implement measures for the sustainment of deceased and coronial processes and increase the capacity and capabilities under a peak ‘Manage It’ pandemic scenario.
17. Maintain law and order and take all measures within their authority or enacted legislation to protect life and property, and to assist with the movement of rescue, medical, fire and other essential services
18. Provide direction and coordination across regional Civil Defence emergency Management (CDEM) Groups.
19. Maintain border restrictions and provide support to the National response to limit the spread and impact of COVID-19.
20. Coordinate New Zealand’s international engagement to effectively provide for New Zealanders overseas and international/overseas citizens within New Zealand affected by the response to COVID-19.
21. Be prepared to facilitate New Zealand’s contribution to international efforts to responding to the pandemic, including providing assistance to partners to support preparedness as well as responding to requests for assistance from developing countries in conjunction with other
countries and agencies.

Andrewj, it is a pick between the entire financial future of New Zealand vs the obese 80 year olds.

The government really is throwing the younger generation's economic future under the bus to save a bunch of people who'll probably die in the next few years anyway. Monetary policy is similarly hurting younger generations. Piketty effect etc.

a year ago it would have been unthinkable to spend say 20 million to save a failing company. That would have been "picking winners" But somehow now it's okay to spend 150 million on useless COVID19 testing, and that's the tip of the iceberg in terms of wasted money.

Those that peddle the idea that covid is a disease of only the old, should read this
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12360358

Yep I can summarise the NZ COVID19 intellectual discourse into three categories. 1. fear mongering, 2. short term thinking, and 3. economic lunacy. That herald article was category 1.

Well, so you say - what qualifications do you have in epidemiology and disease control?

If you want to educate yourself with expert opinion from epidemiologists then here's an Economist article which talks about excess deaths. https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/07/15/tracking-covid-19-ex...

Here's Oxford University professor of theoretical epidemiology Sunetra Gupta talking specifically about New Zealands approach https://youtu.be/cf_zWtdKKKQ

Here's Michael Levitt, Nobel prize winner in Chemistry, talking about how it's "politically correct" but actually a mistake to lockdown a country to stop the spread of COVID19 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh2b8TQYrpE

Most of Europe is already close to herd immunity. The most pragmatic approach for New Zealand would be to protect the elderly and vulnerable and just let the virus spread through the country (preferably during summer). Unfortunately, all the fear mongering and hysteria have precluded the pragmatic approach so we're left with an option that will maximise the economic damage.

But... but.... the Herald said.....

Of course it can kill or seriously complicate anyone. And yes of course its a serious virus you would rather not catch. But the average age stats are quite clear.

More locks downs will get increasingly difficult, 20-somethings don't care about the virus, they just want to work and party. And middle aged families just want their kids out of the house and financial security.

We predominantly protect older types or those already suffering a complication by the lock downs but it's the younger healthy, working generations that are more fiscally or socially hurt by it. Just the way it is.

"Economic future under a bus"? I tend to think more along the lines that economic BAU has been throwing everyones' future under a bus. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0164733

'There are seven new imported cases of COVID-19 - three men in their 30s, a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 20s, and two children. They all arrived in New Zealand on August 23 on the same Air India flight from Delhi, and tested positive around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation'.

What about the other passengers on this flight ? Where did they board, where did the alight and where are they now ?
Have they been traced and concerned authorities informed ? Has the aircraft been cleaned ? What about the crew ?
Is there any protocol between countries for this kinds of infection, group or single ?

the other questions are how many were on the flight, would expect at least a 100 it is a 747 and are they all in the same hotel so they dont infect other returnees. as for being covid free before they board i guess they all say yes they are
Q: Will I have to go through medical screening to get onto a flight?
A: As per Indian law, you will have to fill in the self-declaration health check form at the airport and you may be temperature checked by an Airport Health Official. Depending on the commercial route, other transit countries may have specific requirements. Be sure to check these carefully prior to travel.

Indian outbreak is huge. They have a young population average just 29 and only 5% over 65, that's 10 years younger than most western countries. But big cities are now well past their peaks. In Delhi about 30% have antibodies (6million), but only 4k dead (<0.07% IFR). Mumbai is even higher; 60% of their slum dwellers have antibodies, close to herd immunity so about 12million infected, but only 10k dead, about 0.08% IFR. There are going to be significant numbers infected on every plane from India

Can we study or harvest antibodies from them and create a vaccine here ?

So an IFR of about the flu. So WTF are we doing here? We've literally gone nucking futs over something that's bad, but not put that mask on in a bus bad.

It's not. India's deaths are heavily underreported and there are no historical figures to determine excess deaths. Most reasonable estimates of IFR are at about 1%

You know what's underreported? People who have actually had Covid without symptoms. Roll out antibody tests anywhere in the world and you'll see

I think digital passports are the way to contain this with facial recognition and tracking. Easy to fight and contain the virus.

China has great tech in this space. They will help us

Days to the General Election: 21
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.