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New Zealand reports first Covid-19 case outside quarantine in over two months
24 January 2021, 08:22 | Updated: 24 January 2021, 09:05
New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus case outside of quarantine in more than two months, with health officials working under the assumption that the case is one of the more transmissible variants of the virus.
There was no immediate evidence the virus was spreading widely among the population in the country.
Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said on Sunday the case was a 56-year-old woman who recently returned from Europe.
The woman spent 14 days in quarantine and twice tested negative before being returning home on January 13. She later developed symptoms and tested positive.
Dr Bloomfield said health officials will conduct genome testing but believe the case is a more transmissible variant of the virus.
He said they are investigating to see whether its possible the woman caught the disease from another returning traveller who was staying in the same quarantine facility.
New Zealand has eliminated community transmission of the virus, at least for now.
Dr Bloomfield said officials are ramping up contact tracing and testing efforts and hope to have more information about the case in the coming days.