New Zealand health officials probe probable community COVID-19 case

New Zealand, one of the most successful developed nations in controlling the spread of the pandemic, last recorded a community coronavirus transmission on Nov. 18, according to information on the Health Ministry website.

New Zealand health officials said on Sunday they were investigating a probable community coronavirus case, the country’s first in months.

New Zealand, one of the most successful developed nations in controlling the spread of the pandemic, last recorded a community coronavirus transmission on Nov. 18, according to information on the Health Ministry website.

“Health officials are currently investigating the case,” the health ministry said in a statement.

The ministry is to provide more detail later on Sunday.

A tough lockdown and the advantage of being geographically isolated helped New Zealand virtually eliminate the novel coronavirus within its borders.

The country has had only a total of 1,927 confirmed cases so far, but with the pandemic raging globally, more people are returning to New Zealand with infections including the new variants from the UK and South Africa, raising concerns the virus may spread in the community again.

On Sunday, there were eight new infections, all returning travellers who are being quarantined at the border, bringing the total active cases among those quarantined to 79, the ministry said in a separate statement.

Pressures has been mounting on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government to vaccinate the population, but New Zealand has said the majority of its population would only be vaccinated in the second half of the year.

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