New Covid-19 variant C.1.2 entered NZ in June - Ministry of Health

Source: 1News

The Ministry of Health has confirmed there was a case of the Covid-19 C.1.2 variant identified at the border in New Zealand in June.

In a statement today, the ministry told 1 NEWS a traveller with the C.1.2 variant of the coronavirus arrived in Auckland at the end of that month.

"Given the traveller was an arrival from overseas, they entered a quarantine facility, and this variant did not enter the community," the ministry said.

No further details on the case was released.

The variant, C.1.2, was first detected in South Africa in May, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases .

It was first detected at relatively low frequency, up to ~2 per cent of genomes, from May to August.

The Ministry of Health said at the time it was detected in New Zealand the genome was logged onto the International GSAID database.

The ministry said all variants of concern were monitored closely by both the ministry and public health staff.

"This is one of the main reasons why ESR attempts genomes sequences on all positive samples. While this variant may have arrived at the border the infection control measures meant that it did not enter the community," the ministry said.

"New Zealand is in a fortunate position and it’s important that we’re able to continue to whole genome sequence all cases as this too is a crucial part of New Zealand’s surveillance and elimination strategy.

"We must remain vigilant to the threat of Covid-19 and that means continuing with our current border processes, whole genome sequencing of cases and constantly reviewing our processes."