Covid-19 Omicron variant: No further spread into community


There are no new community cases of Omicron in the country to report today, the Ministry of Health says.

Mutated SARS-CoV-2 Omicron virus chimera, foreground, and SARS-CoV-2 delta strain, background, 3D models, 3D rendering.

A 3D rendering of the mutated SARS-CoV-2 Omicron virus chimera, in the foreground, and with the Delta strain in the background. Photo: 123RF

There were two new Omicron cases at the border to report among recent arrivals at the border today – taking the total number of Omicron cases at the border to 90 – but no further spread from the two cases that were in the community last week.

On Thursday a British DJ, Robert Etheridge, who goes by the name DJ Dimension, became New Zealand’s first Omicron community case.

The same day it was also announced that an Air New Zealand crew member was infectious with Omicron in the community.

All the close contacts of the two cases who were in the community this week have so far tested negative.

The six close contacts of the case who attended the Hidden Lakes festival in Christchurch had all tested negative and the Ministry said this meant there was no public health risk associated with this event.

The source of Etheridge’s infection was still a mystery on Friday, because his case has not been genomically linked to the other Omicron cases that were in MIQ when he was there.

There have been 33 cases of Covid-19 reported at the border in the past two days and the Ministry said today it was committed to offering strong protection against the Omicron variant getting a foothold in this country.

“We have strengthened and continue to review infection prevention control measures at the border to minimise the risk of transmission. We have also shifted priorities for whole genome sequencing to focus on areas of greatest risk for Omicron transmission.”

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