The health ministry will today determine whether there will be any actions taken against a Rarotonga man who breached quarantine at the weekend.
The person, who is the head of his family, had unauthorised close contact with one of the people who returned from New Zealand on Friday.
Ministry of Health has ordered him and his family into compulsory supervised 14-day quarantine.
Health spokesperson Jaewynn McKay said: “The contact was brief and apparently unintentional, and the man and his entire family have been ordered into quarantine for the next two weeks.”
The person he had contact with had returned a negative Covid-19 test before leaving New Zealand, and underwent another test in-country yesterday which also returned negative.
The person is not showing any Covid-19 symptoms, health ministry says.
The man who entered the supervised quarantine property also tested negative.
Secretary of Health Dr Josephine Aumea Herman said: “All the appropriate steps had been taken. The person in quarantine was in the right place and obeying the rules, including wearing a mask; there was a yellow flag outside the property indicating there were people in quarantine there.”
“This was unfortunate on the part of the person who breached the quarantine order and should be a lesson to all of us to remain vigilant. Largely because of the actions of the person who returned on Friday, the public health risk from this incident is very low. However, we are taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the family involved and members of the public.”
Prime Minister Henry Puna last night reminded people the importance of abiding by the quarantine rules set by the Health ministry.
“As a nation, small though we are, it is vital that we act together, for the health and welfare of us all. We’ve been in this together from the start, and we shall remain together throughout this ordeal,” Puna said.
“The need for patience and vigilance has been a tough call, but an absolutely necessary one. Abiding by certain measures regarding our mobility and leisure has been excellent overall. We cannot and must not lose sight of the need to be patient and vigilant.”
Te Marae Ora health ministry, which is leading the government effort to keep people safe from Covid-19 has reinforced the quarantine rules in place.
“There must be no physical contact with the people in supervised quarantine in properties displaying yellow flags. The leads of each of the Puna are aware of those in supervised quarantine in their areas.
“Food and other provisions, including bottled water may be left on the boundary of the property for the quarantined returnees to collect once the person doing the drop off has left.
“No rubbish or empty containers – e.g. water bottles can leave the property until the returnees have tested negative twice for Covid-19, completed 14-days supervised quarantine and have cleared the exit medical test.”
Penalties for any breach of quarantine will result in a maximum of 12 months imprisonment or a $10,000 fine.
Members of the public should contact their local community health clinics on the free 0800 numbers if they have any questions regarding the supervised quarantine process in their area. Or call healthline on 20 066, 0800-1800, 0800-1801.