SocietyNovember 29, 2020

Live updates, November 28-29: One new case of Covid-19 in managed isolation


Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for November 28-29. Reach me on

Sunday, November 29

1.40pm: One new case of Covid-19 in managed isolation

The Ministry of Health is reporting one new case of Covid-19 in managed isolation today, and no new community cases. The new case is a person who arrived from Jordan via Dubai on November 26. They are in the Auckland quarantine facility.

Two previously reported cases are now considered to have recovered, bringing our total number of active cases to 69. Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,696.

Historic infections in Pakistan cricket squad

One case being added to New Zealand’s total case numbers today is the member of the Pakistan cricket squad reported by the ministry yesterday. In total, six members of the squad have tested positive at day one testing, and one member of the squad has tested positive at day three testing.

Following serology (blood) testing, two of the original six positive cases are now considered to be historic cases and are therefore not infectious.

All 53 members of the squad in managed isolation in Christchurch have also had serology tests, in addition to the routine PCR testing for the virus. As a result a further 11 people (in addition to the two mentioned above) returned positive serology indicating previous “historic” infections.

Saturday, November 28

1.05pm: Four new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation, including another from Pakistan cricket squad

Another member of the Pakistan cricket squad has tested positive for Covid-19 during routine testing in managed isolation, taking the total from the group to seven. The remainder of the day three tests from the squad of 53 people have returned negative results, said the Ministry of Health in a statement.

Day six testing will also be carried out on the squad, who arrived in the country on Tuesday and are staying at the Chateau on the Park managed isolation facility in Christchurch.

The squad had its training privileges revoked after team members were caught on CCTV mingling in hallways at the facility. The Canterbury DHB medical officer of health is now considering whether to allow the team to return to training, which will take until at least early next week, said the ministry.

“As per usual protocols, the latest case has been interviewed and close contacts, including flight contacts, have been, or are in the process of being, contacted,” said the ministry.

Three other people have also tested positive for Covid-19 in managed isolation facilities, all of whom travelled from the United States and are now in the Auckland quarantine facility. Two arrived on November 23 and tested positive at day three, while the third was tested on arrival as they were symptomatic.

Two cases reported today arrived on 23 November from the United States and tested positive during routine testing around day three.  Both individuals have been moved to Auckland’s quarantine facility.

There are now 69 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, and our total number of confirmed cases is 1,694. Yesterday. laboratories completed 6,888 tests for Covid-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,266,944.

10.15am: Little promises ‘game-changer’ Māori health authority during this term

New health minister Andrew Little has given his word that by the end of this parliamentary term, there will be fewer district health boards and a Māori health authority that’s a “game-changer for Māori” will have been set up.

Little was speaking on Newshub Nation about his priorities for the three years ahead, and said implementing the recommendations of the Simpson report into the health and disability sector was a key focus. 

The report, which was released in June, proposed the establishment of a Māori health authority that would include specific provisions for commissioning Māori health services, but the authority’s potential remit was left open.

Little said he was aware of voices saying the report recommendations didn’t go far enough in relation to the Māori health authority, and said he was determined that any entity set up would have “the authority to make a difference. I want to ensure we’re doing everything we can [to make sure] that it’s a game-changer for Māori”.

Little also committed to fewer DHBs by the end of 2022 – the report recommended the current 20 health boards be slashed to between eight and 12 – and said the government was still committed to cheaper doctor visits “in due course”. He was also keen to implement the Labour Party policy of establishing a public health agency.

9.00am: Accountability concerns raised over mosque attacks evidence suppression

The royal commission into the terror attacks on two Christchurch mosques on March 15, 2019 has suppressed evidence given by ministers and senior public servants for 30 years, sparking concerns accountability could be dodged, reports Stuff.

The commission’s report, which will be released by the government on Tuesday, is expected to detail any failings within government organisations including police and the spy agencies, in the lead-up to the attacks – including how the terrorist obtained a firearms licence.

Islamic Women’s Council national coordinator Anjum Rahman told Stuff she was concerned the suppression of evidence given by ministers and chief executives might prevent accountability for negligence, wrong-doing and incompetence.

8.45am: The weekend ahead

All going to plan, it should be a fairly quiet weekend, but I’ll bring you any news of note here, including what health minister Andrew Little has to say about reforming the health system when he appears on Newshub Nation at 9.30. Plus, of course, the 1pm Covid-19 updates from the Ministry of Health (coming via email at this stage) – and fresh-from-quarantine Peppa Pig’s star turn at tomorrow’s Auckland Santa parade.

8.30am: Yesterday’s headlines

There were seven new cases of Covid-19, including the six members of the Pakistani cricket team revealed to have tested positive on Thursday night.

Donald Trump finally admitted he would leave the White House,  but only if the Electoral College votes in favour of Biden, as it is required to do.

Victoria officially eliminated Covid-19, going 28 consecutive days without a new case.

Speaker Trevor Mallard defended preventing the Māori Party co-leaders from speaking during the first session of the new parliament, prompting them to walk out.

Read all the key stories in yesterday’s live updates

Keep going!