Aviation

New Zealand gets COVID scare after infected flight attendant’s shopping spree

Authorities in Auckland have urged people who visited several shops to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 after an Air New Zealand crew member visited them prior to testing positive for the virus.

The crew member tested positive after arriving in Shanghai on Monday, but said they had visited several shops in Auckland before boarding the flight, according to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health.

The crew returned from Shanghai on a cargo-only flight yesterday morning and are being monitored, isolated and tested.

An update by Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) detailed that the Air NZ crew member visited a petrol station, two supermarkets, a paint shop, a pharmacy and a pet shop on 20 and 21 November, and urged those who visited them between certain times on these dates to watch for symptoms.

ARPHS said that those who visited the pet store, Animates Manukau, should get tested and self isolate until they receive a negative result due to the amount of time the crew member spent in that particular shop.

Results of genome sequencing show that the lineage of this particular infection is not connected with any New Zealand cases that have been sequenced, indicating the crew member most likely picked up the virus overseas, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.

“Because this case was first reported in China, it is officially a case in China, not New Zealand. So, while we are reporting on it, it does not enter into our official count of COVID-19 cases,” the Ministry of Health said in an update today.

“The Ministry continues to investigate how this most recent confirmed COVID-19 case was contracted. Although the source of the infection is still unknown, we are continuing to take precautionary actions within New Zealand.”

There are currently 60 active cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, most of which have been detected in returned travellers.

Air New Zealand declined Travel Weekly’s request for comment.


Featured image source: Facebook/Air New Zealand


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