A second case of Omicron has been reported in the community, the health ministry has confirmed.
The case is an Air New Zealand crew member who worked on a flight between Auckland and Sydney on December 24.
The fully vaccinated crew member was tested for Covid-19 during routine surveillance tests on December 27, the ministry said.
The case, which was immediately transferred to an MIQ facility, is linked to three other Omicron cases that were on the same flight.
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Eight close contacts were identified, seven of which returned negative test results.
The development was part of the ministry’s daily update, which also included 60 new cases of Covid-19 in the community on Wednesday and 44 people hospitalized.
New information released also gave an update on New Zealand’s first Omicron case in the community.
The case, known to be British musical artist DJ Dimension aka Robert Etheridge, was announced to be positive with the variant on Wednesday night.
The ministry said it was now conducting further talks with Etheridge and confirmed it had traveled to Waiheke by public ferry.
“The case ended their self-isolation on Waiheke Island, we understand they traveled by private car and ferry to the island. While on the ferry, they did not leave their vehicle and went directly to their accommodation, ”the ministry said.
Etheridge was believed to have completed his last three days of home isolation and await the results of his ninth day test, when he left his Waiheke residence and visited a shopping mall, restaurants and nightclub in Auckland.
In an announcement delivered to the media at 11 a.m., Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the statement would include more details about the Omicron outbreak, including how Etheridge had traveled to and from Waiheke Island.
Hipkins said it was “disappointing” that Etheridge didn’t follow the rules, but he didn’t want to overreact to the situation as the country “is now moving to a different space where we’re going to have Covid-19 in the community. “
There is no case to reinstate the limits or change the plans for the traffic light system, he said, and Auckland can still expect to go orange at 11:59 p.m. on December 30.
The Omicron community case has drawn more attention to the deployment of the booster, which was already in question following growing concern over Omicron border affairs.
Following his release to the community, Hipkins said the administration of a booster dose would be “stepped up” from Jan. 5.