New Zealand: First Case This Year is Contagious South African Variant

Spain reports more than 40,000 new cases while vaccination plan suffers setbacks

CREDIT: Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

NEW ZEALAND: First COVID Case This Year is Contagious South African Variant

The New Zealand authorities, who have managed to stop the pandemic so far, confirmed today (January 25) that the local infection of covid-19 reported yesterday is linked to the new South African variant, considered more contagious.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the genomic sequence has determined that the patient, a 56-year-old woman who travelled to Spain and the Netherlands for work, contracted the virus from another international traveller during her mandatory quarantine at an Auckland hotel between January 9 and 13.

The New Zealand authorities do not know the details of how this woman, who had tested negative for two previous tests and was discharged on January 13, contracted exactly the virus, the New Zealand minister added.

As indicated, to date two of the 15 close contacts of the woman, who are in confinement, have tested negative for COVID-19.

While countries across the globe saw enormous rates of infection and deaths, New Zealand has come through the pandemic with just 2283 cases and 25 deaths. The government has yet to begin its vaccine rollout, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying that the majority of Kiwis would not receive the jab until the second half of the year.

It now looks likely that Australia will close their travel bubble with New Zealand following the new positive case, a move that will dampen proposed plans from Australia who were considering the possibility of starting a travel bubble with the Pacific islands.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at