Ardern denies claim there is Covid-19 community transmission when pressed by Muller

Source: 1News

Jacinda Ardern has denied the claim there is Covid-19 community transmission due to people leaving managed isolation without being tested, when pressed by Todd Muller in Parliament this afternoon.

National’s leader doubled down on the "assumption" people leaving managed isolation without testing would have “re-seeded infection in the community” after earlier stating it on TVNZ 1's Breakfast show.

"Does she agree with Auckland University School of Medicine Professor Des Gorman that not all of the 2,159 people who left managed isolation between June 9 and 16 will probably be tracked down, and “we have to make the assumption these people have re-seeded the infection in the community?" he asked during Question Time.

The Prime Minister answered by quoting another expert with a differing opinion.

"I understand Professor Gorman is an expert in occupational health at Auckland University, rather than an epidemiologist, however I acknowledge the role he has played in the medical community.

"I note though that Auckland University Infectious Disease Specialist Dr Siouxsie Wiles says the chances of someone leading to community infection after leaving an isolation facility are ‘very low’.

"And ‘if people had gone on to develop symptoms that the testing and isolation of those around them would have kicked in as well, so we’re very unlikely to see anything happen from those, and if we do it would be very, very minor’," Ms Ardern said.

Mr Muller continued to press her on the issue.

"How can she say that when in the absence of testing, she can’t say that any of those people had Covid-19 when they left managed isolation?"

"Because the 14 day isolation period is the most important thing any country can do to manage cases coming in at the border," Ms Ardern replied.

The Prime Minister went on to note the "high rate of false negatives that can be produced" is one of the reasons why the 14 day quarantine is so important.

The exchange comes as there are now 11 officially active cases of the virus in New Zealand, all of which are in isolation.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield says he's aware of reports of a second positive case today, at a mandatory isolation facility in Rotorua.

Guests at the Ibis Hotel in Rotorua have been ordered to stay in their room with a lockdown.

Yesterday they underwent their day three testing.

That reported case hasn't been included in the official total as yet, with the latest figures only updating at 9am each day before being announced at around 1.30pm.