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Seven coronavirus tests pending

Three new people suspected of having the coronavirus have had swab kits sent to New Zealand for testing, the Health Ministry announced, while the results of four other tests from last week remain pending. 

Three new suspected patients were identified on Monday and Tuesday, the Ministry said. The country awaiting the results of a total of seven outstanding tests for possible cases of coronavirus on the island. 

Until now, the Ministry has sent some 11 swab tests to New Zealand from patients who were suspected of having the virus but also some of their personal close contacts.  

So far, six tests have shown no signs of the virus also known as COVID-19. Four of those to return negative samples were people suspected to have contracted the virus and two were of their close contacts who had significant exposure to the patients.

Including the three new cases announced on Tuesday, the Ministry is still awaiting the results of four tests from the first batch of eight declared last week.

The three new cases were brought to the Ministry of Health and the patients are in self-isolation while they wait for their results. 

The M.O.H. states as soon as the tests results are available, the public will be informed.

Contacting tracing on all the suspected cases continues. If you or anyone you know has been in contact with someone who arrived from overseas in the last two weeks please self-isolate for the coming fortnight and monitor your symptoms.  

A coronavirus call centre has been established to take calls from the public on symptoms, advice and best practice. The numbers are: Toll Free number 800 6440, and 21183, 21176, 21173, 22914, 22241 and 24402.

A spokesman for the New Zealand's Institute of Environmental Science and Research, which is overseeing the testing said on Tuesday:

"The testing of a sample amplifies small amounts of the genetic material from the virus to clearly detectable levels. It looks for specific genetic targets of COVID-19. Once a test is complete, the requesting Government is then informed of a confirmed positive. 

"There are now relatively cheap, rapid and easy to perform antibody tests available which can be performed locally. However, the recommendation is that they should only be perform once someone has had symptoms for at least a week as it takes time for antibodies to develop."

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