COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) update, 4 March

News article

04 March 2020

The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield gives an update on the response to COVID-19.

Update summary

  • New Zealand has confirmed its second case of COVID-19.
  • Dr Bloomfield told media the confirmed case is a New Zealand woman in her 30s who returned from northern Italy to Auckland. 
  • The woman doesn’t require hospital care and is in self-isolation at home and is receiving appropriate clinical support from public health and district health board staff.
  • Dr Bloomfield says the woman’s immediate family is in self-isolation as a precautionary measure.
  • Dr Bloomfield told media that contact tracing has begun and includes two domestic flights the woman took to and from Palmerston North on the second of March.
  • Contact is being made with the two medical centres where the woman sought advice and treatment and two schools – Westlake Boys and Westlake Girls High Schools have also been notified as there was a family member at each of those schools. These family members are not symptomatic and did not travel to Italy. They are in self-isolation but are both well.
  • Dr Bloomfield says New Zealand is one of 74 countries who have now reported confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • Dr Bloomfield also mentioned the Technical Advisory Group met urgently this morning for further advice on case definitions and testing.
  • He reiterated the extension to the travel restrictions currently in place for China and Iran. Meanwhile, people entering the country from the Republic of Korea and northern Italy will be told to go into self-isolation.  

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