Novel coronavirus update: 14 February 2020
This is the most recent article summarising the NZ health system response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It replaces earlier updates published to this site, and points readers to official health information and advice.
Current status of the outbreak (NZ):
As at 14 February 2020 there were still no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s risk assessment is that the likelihood of one or more imported cases of the virus in New Zealand is high. The risk of a sustained community outbreak in NZ is low to moderate.
Anyone who has returned to NZ from mainland China (either directly or via another country) should self-isolate for 14 days. Anyone who may have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with the virus – most likely in China but possibly other countries – should also be in isolation.
The symptoms of corovirus are similar to influenza (flu) or a bad cold. You may also have a fever. As with influenza and other contagious diseases, if you have symptoms, please call Healthline before you visit a waiting room where you may infect other people: 0800 358 5453.
It is important that you tell a healthcare professional if you have been overseas in the past month, or if you have been in contact with people who may have the virus.
Read more at: www.health.govt.nz/coronavirus
The most recent developments in the health system response to the outbreak are:
- A dedicated 0800 Healthline number is now available for health advice and information. People in self-isolation are also asked to register themselves with Healthline team, who then regularly check on the welfare and wellbeing of people in isolation. Translators are on hand to assist callers. The number is: 0800 358 5453
- A self-isolation (quarantine) guide has been updated. This is available for people returning to NZ from mainland China or other countries where they may have come into contact with the virus. This is available as a webpage and printable document here: www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov/novel-coronavirus-self-isolation
- The Ministry of Health has started a Facebook page to alert people to key updates and messaging about the virus. Search @minhealthnz in Facebook. Nelson Marlborough Health is sharing these posts on its Facebook page also: Search @nelsonmarboroughhealth in Facebook.
- Information is now available in NZ Sign Language, as a video online here
- The Ministry of Health continues to work with border agencies to ensure recent arrivals from mainland China (including those who have transited through China) are aware of the need to self-isolate for 14 days and register with Healthline. The Ministry is working with Customs to enable Healthline to proactively contact all people who have arrived in New Zealand via mainland China since 02 February 2020.
- The World Health Organization has given the official name for the virus: COVID-19 (which stands for ‘Coronavirus Disease 2019’).
General health and travel advice
Refer to the Ministry of Health website for:
• information about symptoms
• a health advice FAQ (including a printable fact sheet)
• advice for travellers