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New Zealand's coronavirus outbreak could have come from MELBOURNE

New Zealand’s first coronavirus outbreak in more than 100 days may have come from chilled products shipped from a Melbourne coldstore, according to local media.

The country recorded seven new coronavirus cases overnight as the fallout from the emerging cluster continues to grow, with 37 cases now linked to the latest outbreak. 

An Americold Logistics storage facility in Mt Wellington, Auckland, was shut down this week when a worker and three of his family members tested positive.  

As of Friday five staff and one contractor who visited the site had tested positive.  

The country’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told reporters on Saturday he had been talking to his counterparts in Victoria. 

He confirmed that authorities are investigating whether the outbreak was sparked in Melbourne, as Americold also has facilities in the Australian city.  

‘We’re looking at that possibility, it’s part of the overall puzzle and we are leaving no stone unturned,’ Dr Bloomfield said. 

Testing is currently underway on employees in Melbourne to confirm whether there are any connections between the two outbreaks. 

There have been two confirmed COVID-19 cases at the Melbourne facility in the past fortnight, according to Stuff.  

Mr Bloomfield on Friday said the Mt Wellington venue was being ‘thoroughly’ investigated from the border through to the coolstore.

This is despite earlier in the week saying chilled products were unlikely to be the source of the outbreak.  

Jetstar on Saturday cancelled all flights around the country after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was forced to extend New Zealand’s lockdown on Friday. 

Saturday’s seven new cases were spread within the community and brought the total number of active cases in New Zealand to 56. 

More to come  

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