WELLINGTON, May 2 (Xinhua) – New Zealand reported a second case of Omicron BA.4 variant on the border with 6,636 cases recorded in the community on Monday.
The Ministry of Health stated that a second person traveling from abroad to New Zealand had been confirmed to be infected with subunit BA.4 of the COVID-19 Omicron variety.
The first infection with the Omicron BA.4 variant in New Zealand was reported over the weekend. Both detected cases are now in isolation in their homes.
At this stage, the public health settings already in place to manage other Omicron variants are assessed as suitable for managing BA.4, and no changes are required, the health ministry said.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the country reported seven new deaths related to COVID-19.
In addition, 90 new cases of COVID-19 were detected at the New Zealand border.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 940,151 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been registered in the country.
New Zealand is currently under orange settings as part of its COVID-19 Protection Framework, where there are no restrictions on assemblies.
Since midnight Sunday, New Zealand’s borders have opened to visitors from 60 countries whose visas have been revoked, for the first time since its international borders closed in March 2020 via COVID-19.
To prepare for the entry of large numbers of visitors with the necessary tests for COVID-19, the New Zealand government is working with Air New Zealand to test a new innovative testing solution that uses LAMP, Deputy Health Minister Aisha Verral said.
The Lucira Check-It test kits use LAMP technology, and the test can combine the speed of rapid antigen tests (RAT) with the accuracy of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, Verral said. .
“LAMP tests are both cheaper than PCR, and more convenient: they are conducted independently and give results to users within 30 minutes. The accuracy of the LAMP test has already been established as a result of clinical trials, ”she said.