A man who died while in managed isolation in Auckland has become the first person to die in a quarantine facility in New Zealand.
A spokesman for Managed Isolation and Quarantine confirmed that this was the first time someone had died while carrying out the mandatory 14-day quarantine, after arriving from overseas.
Authorities said the 63-year-old returnee died at the Grand Millennium Auckland yesterday.
Police confirmed they were notified of the sudden death in the afternoon and that it appeared to be related to a medical event.
It is not known how far long into the 14-day quarantine period he was in, before he died yesterday.
Managed Isolation and Quarantine deputy chief Andrew Milne: "[We are] saddened to confirm that a 63-year-old male, who arrived from the Pacific and is staying at the Grand Millennium Auckland, has sadly passed away (yesterday).
Death not Covid-related
"The returnee displayed no Covid-19-related symptoms during their previous daily health checks."
The Ministry of Health has assessed the circumstances of the man's death and at this stage, it is not thought to be related to Covid-19.
The man also arrived from a country that has no transmission of Covid within the community and they were symptom-free.
Milne said a coroner's inquiry is now taking place, so they could not comment further on the situation.
It is understood people in managed isolation at the Grand Millennium Auckland were told about the sudden death and asked to stay in their rooms for some time, as a result.
What happens when there is an unexpected returnee death?
Official advice given in a 135-page operations framework for managed isolation and quarantine facilities - when dealing with an unexpected death - shows the heartbreaking reality for those involved.
If the person was staying with other people in the same room, those people would be moved to a different room immediately after the death.
Authorities have not said whether or not the man who died yesterday had been self-isolating with anyone else.
The document also reveals that every unexpected death in a quarantine facility is to be treated as a Covid-related death - even if the death appears to be unrelated to the virus.
"Staff should wear (personal protective equipment) and the body and room should be treated as if the person had been infected with Covid-19 prior to their death."