• Covid-19: Omicron case confirmed in Palmerston North

Covid-19: Omicron case confirmed in Palmerston North

A case of Covid-19 detected in Palmerston North has been confirmed as the Omicron variant, the Ministry of Health has confirmed. 

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said: "Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) has confirmed that the case who tested positive in Palmerston North has the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

"The case became symptomatic on Wednesday and returned a positive Covid-19 test result on Wednesday evening, with WGS confirmed Thursday evening." 

The Ministry said whole-genome sequencing has identified similarities to border cases identified in Auckland, but no direct links.

"It has not identified any links to cases in the Christchurch MIQ facility, suggesting that the source of infection is offshore - either in the country they travelled from or during travel to New Zealand - rather than transmission in the Christchurch MIQ facility where they stayed."

The case is considered to have been infectious from Monday, January 17.

In total, there are 23 Covid-19 cases in the community today and 44 infections at the border.