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New Zealand Announces New Covid-19 Case Weeks After PM Ardern Claimed to Beat the Virus

File photo of New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (REUTERS)

File photo of New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (REUTERS)

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the latest case involved a port-side worker who returned a positive test on Saturday afternoon.

New Zealand confirmed a new community case of Covid-19 Sunday, two weeks after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that the South Pacific nation had "beat the virus again".

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the latest case involved a port-side worker who returned a positive test on Saturday afternoon.

"Because the person was tested on the day he was developing symptoms, the Ministry of Health was able to self-isolate close contacts," Bloomfield said. He was potentially infectious as early as Wednesday, October 14.

The announcement came a day after Ardern's Labour Party won a landslide election victory, with her government's handling of the pandemic widely credited as a factor.

Ahead of the vote, Ardern -- whose party won 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament -- had dubbed it "the Covid election".

She campaigned on her government's success in eliminating community transmission of the virus, which has caused just 25 deaths in a population of five million.

New Zealand declared in May it has beaten community coronavirus transmission, although a new cluster emerged in Auckland in August forcing the for several weeks.


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