Covid 19 coronavirus: Overseas returnee dies in hospital before entering MIQ

There have been more than 750,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine administered so far, an increase of 107,000 in the last week.

A “gravely ill” overseas returnee died last night 13 days after arriving in New Zealand and before going into managed isolation.

The Herald understands the 42-year-old man had flown from Samoa and developed a medical condition. His death is being referred to the Coroner.


Police confirmed the man was gravely ill and transported direct Middlemore Hospital after landing at Auckland International Airport, before he could be taken to an MIQ facility.

“There was a sudden death last night but sadly the person passed away in hospital before they were taken to the hotel.

“It’s a medical event, not Covid-related. The matter will be referred to the Coroner.”

The Herald sought comment from the Ministry of Health but a spokesman said it was an MIQ matter and referred questions to MBIE.

A Managed Isolation and Quarantine spokeswoman issued a statement saying: “No returnees staying at the Novotel have died or been transferred to hospital.”

She refused to provide further information, including which hospital the man had died at, referring the Herald to the Ministry of Health and relevant district health board.

“There’s nothing further I can add.”

The Herald sought comment from both Middlemore and Auckland City hospitals.

An Auckland District Health Board spokeswoman referred the Herald to Counties Manukau DHB.

A CMDHB spokeswoman declined to provide information, saying: “I’m told NRHCC in conjunction with MOH will be replying to your request.”

CMDHB then issued a statement confirming the man had died at Middlemore Hospital.

“We can confirm a patient died at Middlemore last night after coming to us directly from the airport 13 days ago. This patient was Covid-negative.”

The Ministry of Health then sent a statement saying: “If someone in managed isolation requires hospital admission, they are safely transferred for their treatment. Once that treatment is completed, they are either transferred back to complete the remainder of their 14 days managed isolation, or discharged back into the community.

“Due to the public interest in the pandemic, the Ministry has confirmed previous deaths related to Covid-19. However, for privacy reasons, we do not comment on non-Covid-19 related deaths.

“The Ministry’s sympathies are with this person’s family.”

The incident comes after news broke yesterday that a Covid-19 positive case had been moved out of MIQ to Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland.

A Counties Manukau District Health Board staffer confirmed yesterday that that patient was admitted the night before with both Covid and pneumonia.

The person was said to be in a moderate but stable condition as of yesterday.

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