New COVID-19 outbreak rocks New Zealand as 11 new cases emerge – just days after Jacinda Ardern won over voters by eliminating the virus
- At least 11 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in New Zealand on Tuesday
- Fishermen quarantining at the Sudima Hotel in Christchurch tested positive
- Comes days after Jacinda Ardern was re-elected as New Zealand prime minister
- The Sudima Hotel, housing hundreds of workers, was placed into lockdown
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It is understood the workers flew in from Moscow via Singapore on Friday and are among 440 fishermen from Russia and Ukraine quarantining in Christchurch.
The 11 cases were discovered during ‘routine’ coronavirus testing and the Sudima Hotel was placed into lockdown on Tuesday, New Zealand Herald reported.
New Zealand was rocked by a new coronavirus outbreak when 11 fisherman quarantining at the Sudima Hotel (pictured above), in Christchurch, tested positive for the virus
Military personnel (pictured above) and specialist staff were called to the quarantine hotel after it was placed into lockdown on Tuesday afternoon
The new cases come just days after Jacinda Ardern (pictured), who gained international praise for her pandemic response, was re-elected as prime minister on Saturday
The Ministry of Health said the coronavirus had not spread within the community.
‘The positive cases are part of a group who are the only people staying at this facility. This is an example of our border controls working as they should.’
‘All relevant public health measures are being taken. At facilities, strict infection, prevention and control processes are followed to minimise the risk to public and staff,’ The Ministry of Health said.
The Ministry of Health said another 14 cases were ‘under further investigation’.
Air Commodore Darryn Webb, Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, said the Sudima Hotel has been placed in lockdown on Tuesday afternoon.
‘As a precaution, the facility has been locked down with guests confined to their rooms while preparations for quarantining is undertaken,’ he explained.
‘Additional security and nursing staff will be deployed and a special staff testing station will be established. This is to ensure safeguards are in place for staff and returnees.’
The workers arrived on two chartered flights arranged by international fishing companies Sealord, IFL and Maruha.
The companies sent the workers to New Zealand to work on their fishing vessels and are footing the bill for the hotel quarantine.
The new cases come just days after Jacinda Ardern, who gained international praise for her pandemic response which included a strict lockdown until cases dropped to virtually zero, was re-elected as prime minister.
New Zealand enjoyed a 102-day streak of zero community transmission but battled against outbreaks in August and September.
New Zealanders have also been permitted quarantine-free travel to NSW, the Northern Territory and South Australia as part of a trans-Tasman travel bubble.
New Zealand was declared coronavirus-free in May, after a strict national lockdown, and has since experienced small outbreaks (coronavirus testing in Auckland pictured above)