COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) update - 21 February

News article

21 February 2020

Note: for the most recent information see our main COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) page.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield addresses media on 21st February 2020 at 2:00pm, to give an update on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

Update summary

  • Dr Bloomfield confirmed there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand currently.
  • He outlined the current status of the six New Zealanders who arrived at Whangaparāoa Reception Centre last night. All are in fine spirits and showing no symptoms of COVID-19 following their first health check by a General Practitional earlier today.
  • Dr Bloomfield has thanked those six New Zealanders and their families for staying at the centre and said they realise the importance of this to the overall response to COVID-19.
  • He was also able to update the status of the New Zealanders originally onboard the Westerdam cruise ship - all 13 New Zealanders have been spoken to by Healthline now and the 8 who came back to New Zealand yesterday are all in self isolation and are currently not showing any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Dr Bloomfield addressed some concerns in media today around COVID-19 and it’s potential to impact New Zealand at the same time as this year’s influenza season.
  • He stressed the importance of people vaccinating against influenza when this year's vaccine becomes available.
  • Today's focus was around the return of a group of six New Zealanders from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
  • He said the more people who are vaccinated for influenza, the fewer people will be presenting to hospital.

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