The Ministry of Health has revealed details of the investigations into the two travellers from New Zealand who were reported by media as having tested positive for Covid-19.
The first investigation involved a woman who transited through Auckland from Los Angeles to Sydney on July 6.
“We have not identified any close contacts who need to be traced or tested. We continue to work with the airline and airport,” a Ministry of Health spokesperson said.
The second investigation involved a woman who travelled from Auckland to Sydney on July 20.
Contact tracing has now concluded, and all close contacts have been tested and returned negative results, the spokesperson said.
“As we said on Saturday, it appears this may have been a previously undetected case from March or April, which is likely to have led to the positive test result.”
The ministry said with these and any other investigations that may arise during the ongoing global pandemic, it was important to reinforce New Zealand’s membership of and relationships within the World Health Organization.
Under the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 the WHO has an established process for confidential information sharing about health events which takes place between IHR National Focal Points (NFP).
The Ministry of Health is the IHR focal point for New Zealand.
The spokesperson said this process helped preserve the “formal chain of information” around global public health.
“We work closely with other countries to get formal notification of positive test results and discuss the implications of those when they occur.
“We follow any of these up with a risk-based assessment but we do have to confirm these test results formally.”
It helped to avoid unnecessary confusion around situations which may not represent cause for general public health concern in this country, the spokesperson said.
“New Zealanders can be assured that we will continue to adopt a risk-based approach which includes appropriate public awareness, contact tracing and testing for any cases formally identified during this process.”