Auckland emerged from lockdown three weeks after confirming the return of the Coronavirus in New Zealand’s largest city.
But to answer the question in the title of this story, no, we still don’t know how the outbreak started in the first place – and it’s still relevant, especially since the country is still seeing new cases.
However, we may still get answers.
What do we know about how the outbreak began?
Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the genome sequencing showed New Zealand was dealing with it One disease outbreak with one source.
Since it is the only group, health officials have decided it is safe to reopen Auckland, with schools and businesses returning this week.
However, Ms. Ardern said it is nonetheless still unknown how the virus returned to the country, other than “its beginnings at the Americold work site in Mount Wellington”.
This is the facility that last month a worker, along with three members of his family, tested positive, becoming the first new community transmission in New Zealand in more than 100 days.
So far, the “Oakland August Group”, as it is known, has seen 146 people infected, including five new daily cases that were confirmed on September 1.
Have the authorities given up knowing how the Auckland rally began in August?
No, the origin of the block remains official “under investigation”.
If we get an answer, it will come from genomic epidemiology, says Amanda Kvalswig, an epidemiologist at the University of Otago Wellington.
She says the method of investigation allows epidemiologists to trace the “family tree” of the outbreak.
Therefore, if a strain of coronavirus was associated with a specific overseas city at a certain time, and it turns out that someone traveled to Auckland from that city before recording the first wave of infections, that might give the answer as follows to where the gathering began.
This could happen long after the current outbreak is under control.
What are the main theories of how the Corona virus will return to New Zealand?
Dr Kvalswig says she believes the “by far” the most likely scenario is that it has existed Violation of the quarantine regime This allowed the infection from outside to escape into society.
Another scenario, you may have read about, is that the virus managed to reach New Zealand by packaging frozen food (given cases involving American facilities in Auckland, which receive imports from countries including the United States).
However, Dr. Kvalswig says there is no evidence for this and it remains just a “low probability”.
Does it even matter how the outbreak started?
Yes it is.
First, Dr Kvalsvig said that if the group could be traced all the way to an inbound traveler, and all active cases and contacts were appropriately managed, that would be reassuring.
Second, knowing the circumstances of the outbreak as well Help narrow any system gaps.
However, she also points out that it is not necessary to know how an outbreak occurred in order to control it.
New Zealanders have not completely returned to their normal lives before contracting the coronavirus. The country as a whole remains at “Alert Level 2”, and there are additional restrictions on gatherings in Auckland.
Likewise, face masks have become mandatory on public transport across the country.
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