A man who tested positive for coronavirus in New Zealand was likely infected through his work on a ship that had arrived from Australia, health officials said Monday.
The case announced on Sunday, was initially thought to be the first case of community transmission for three weeks, but now seems likely to be a border incursion case, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said.
Genome testing shows the infection was a strain of coronavirus not detected in New Zealand before, according to Bloomfield.
The ill man is a marine electronics technician who recently worked on a ship that had travelled to New Zealand from Australia.
He had been wearing protective gear while working on the Sofrana Surville, which was on its way back to Brisbane as at Monday.
The ship normally travels around the Pacific. New staff had flown in from the Philippines to join the crew in Auckland, Bloomfield said.
A second New Zealand-based ship the man had worked on is also under investigation, although Bloomfield said it was unlikely to be the source of infection.
The Ken Rei is anchored offshore in Napier and all crew on board would be tested as close contacts of the man.
New Zealand on Monday reported no new cases of Covid-19, with 37 currently active cases.
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