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Quarantined fishermen drive New Zealand virus spike October 22,2020   |  Source: RTE

A coronavirus outbreak among hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian fishermen flown to New Zealand to bolster its struggling deep-sea fishing industry has prompted that country's largest daily increase in infections in months, authorities said.

More than 230 fishermen were flown in from Moscow last week, with 18 of the crew members testing positive for Covid-19 while in quarantine, New Zealand's director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said.

The Pacific nation has almost eliminated local transmission of the virus, but regularly records small numbers of new cases in returned travellers.

The fishing cluster pushed the daily tally of new infections to 25 - the highest level since April - sparking concern among officials in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's recently re-elected government.

New Zealand has recorded more than 1,500 cases and 25 deaths in a population of almost five million and has been widely praised for its handling of the pandemic.

 

© © RTÉ 2020. RTÉ.ie is the website of Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland's National Public Service Media.

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