Novel coronavirus update: Healthline to check on welfare and wellbeing of people in self-isolation

Media release

06 February 2020

Note: for the most recent information see our main novel coronavirus page.

The Ministry of Health is strongly encouraging people in self-isolation, as a result of their travel to China, to register through Healthline.

From tomorrow, Healthline will be set up to register people and regularly check on their welfare and wellbeing while in self-isolation.

The Ministry’s current advice is that people should self-isolate for a period of 14 days if they’ve arrived in New Zealand, either from or via China since February 2. People who’ve specifically travelled to Wuhan or Hubei province prior to February 2 should also self-isolate.

‘By registering through Healthline, staff will be able to check on people’s wellbeing and welfare regularly. Registering will also support our broader response to novel coronavirus,’ says the Ministry’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

‘We are constantly updating our health advice on the website, including for people in self-isolation. Registering via Healthline ensures we can continue to provide the most up to date and comprehensive advice and support.

‘If any person, including people in self-isolation, have any concerns whatsoever about coronavirus and/or possible symptoms, they can contact Healthline’s new 0800 number dedicated specifically to health-related calls about coronavirus – 0800 358 5453,’ says Dr Bloomfield.

‘So far there are no confirmed or suspected cases of novel coronavirus in New Zealand.

‘I want to reiterate my appreciation to everyone involved in the safe return of 190 passengers from Wuhan, aboard flight NZ1942, which touched down in Auckland last night.

‘I spoke to some of the passengers before they were taken to the newly set up Whangaparāoa Reception Centre and they were all well during the flight and in good spirits.’

‘It’s important to us to ensure people are as well informed as possible about novel coronavirus and as part of that the Ministry is hosting a community meeting in Whangaparāoa tonight. It’s a chance for locals to ask health officials and others more about the virus and the process for the returned passengers now in isolation at the Reception Centre.’

The Ministry is also regularly updating its advice on the Novel coronavirus page and providing information on its Facebook page.

More about Healthline

Anyone can call Healthline free 0800 611 116 for health advice and information, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Healthline is funded by the Ministry of Health and provided by Homecare Medical.

You’ll speak to a friendly, knowledgeable person who will ask you questions about the condition or illness you’re calling about.

  • From your answers, they assess symptoms and make a recommendation for the best thing to do.
  • That might be to see a doctor or go to hospital straight away.
  • If it’s less serious, they can tell you how to take care of yourself – or the person you’re ringing about – at home.

The Healthline team also have access to an extensive database of health providers to point callers to. They can tell callers where to find their nearest after-hours GP service, hospital emergency department, pharmacy, out-of-hours dental surgery etc.

What does self-isolation mean?

Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. This means any situation where you may come in close contact with others (face-to-face contact closer than 1 metre for more than 15 minutes), such as social gatherings, work, school, child care/pre-school centres, university, faith-based gatherings, aged care and health care facilities, prisons, sports gatherings, restaurants, and all public gatherings.

If you are a visitor to New Zealand, this means you should avoid sitting in a restaurant or participating in any type of tour group.

For more information, see Self-isolation.

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