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Posted: 20 Jun 20

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From Tuesday 16/6, Breaking the 24 day COVID-free streak, today two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported. They are two British women who arrived here on 7 June from the United Kingdom via Brisbane, Australia to visit their dying parent in Wellington.  On 12 June they applied for compassionate exemption and their parent died later that evening.  The next day, the pair were allowed to leave managed isolation on compassionate grounds and with an agreed plan they left the Novotel Ellerslie hotel in Auckland and drove in a private vehicle to Wellington.  They were tested for COVID-19 in Wellington yesterday.  There is one family member they had contact with who is being tested and they three have entered self-isolation in Wellington.


Later today, Health Minister, David Clark announced that compassionate exemptions from managed isolation are temporarily suspended, in order to ensure the system is working as intended.  It will only be reinstated once the Government has confidence in the system.  He said, “Our border measures are a key line of defence against COVID-19 and we must ensure they are as robust as possible.”


New data revealed that the flu has been reduced to historically low levels in Aotearoa, thanks in large to our pandemic response.


A reduction in DHB numbers and a greater focus on population health are among the proposals made in the Health and Disability system review released today.


Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Miniser for the Community and Voluntary Sector Poto Williams announced today a programme to assist foreign nationals in serious hardship.  The Assistance for Foreign Nationals impacted by COVID-19 Programme will provide temporary, in-kind assistance to eligible people to help meet basic needs such as food and accommodation.  Worth $37.6 million, the Programme will be administered by the Department of Internal Affairs and delivered by a community-based NGO.  No cash payments will be offered.