A number of fishing crew who flew into New Zealand on chartered planes have the coronavirus.
Health officials said Tuesday that 11 have tested positive so far and another 14 cases are being investigated.
The crew members have been in quarantine at a Christchurch hotel since they arrived, and tested positive during routine testing, officials said. The news could deal a blow to New Zealand’s efforts to restart its fishing industry, which has struggled to find local workers to crew vessels.
Jeremy Helson, the chief executive of Seafood New Zealand, said all the men tested negative before flying to New Zealand. “While we await to see how many cases there are, the fact that they were all detected in quarantine shows the system is working well,” Helson said.
The origin of the infected crew members wasn’t immediately clear.
New Zealand has managed to stamp out community spread of the virus.