COVID-19 (formerly known as Novel coronavirus)

Latest updates

More information and regular updates can be found on the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz/coronavirus

In January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed a new type of coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, which affects the respiratory system. The New Zealand Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO).

While it is likely we will identify cases in New Zealand, the risk of an outbreak is low.

What do I need to know about COVID-19?

No cases in NZ

To date there have been no cases of the COVID-19 identified in New Zealand.

However, New Zealand’s health authorities are taking precautions and making information available to the public.

Public health staff are working with border agencies to ensure any travellers arriving in New Zealand who have been in China during the past 14 days are aware of the need to self-isolate and know what that entails. Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. Such travellers are also asked to register for health checks through the new Healthline service.

Staff at airports and ports have been advised what to look out for and have information on hand for passengers that advises them what to look out for and what to do if they get symptoms.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19, first diagnosed in Wuhan China, is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted from person to person. It has now been reported in other cities in China and an increasing number of other countries including Japan, Thailand, Korea, USA, Australia and Hong Kong.

It appears that most cases have mild to moderate illness. In severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory infection.

What precautions can I take?

We advise people follow the basic principles to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections. These are:

  • avoid close contact with people suffering acute respiratory infections
  • frequently wash hands, especially after contact with ill people or their environment
  • people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).

Thinking of travelling overseas?

For the latest advice, visit the Ministry of Foreign affairs and Trade’s Safe travel website 

Returning to NZ from overseas?

New Zealand citizens (including those from the three Countries of the Realm: Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands) permanent residents and their immediate family or air crew who have been to or transited through Mainland China in the past 14 days will need to self-isolate when they return home to New Zealand.

Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. Further information on self-isolation is available on the Ministry of Health website. www.health.govt.nz/coronavirus

What are the signs & symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza and do not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

New Zealand citizens (including those from the three Countries of the Realm: Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands) permanent residents and their immediate family or air crew who have been to or transited through Mainland China in the past 14 days will need to self-isolate when they return home to New Zealand.

Information in New Zealand Sign Language

This sign language video was provided by Deaf Aotearoa. It summarises key information on the Ministry of Health coronavirus page.

Downloads

Poster - Protect yourself against coronavirus (PDF) Poster - Have you or someone you know travelled to China? (PDF) Poster - Have you or someone you know travelled to China? (Chinese language, PDF) Leaflet - Coronavirus - what you need to know (PDF)
Poster - Protect yourself against coronavirus (PDF)

Poster - Protect yourself against coronavirus (PDF)

Poster - Have you or someone you know travelled to China? (PDF)

Poster - Have you or someone you know travelled to China? (PDF)

Poster - Have you or someone you know travelled to China? (Chinese language, PDF)

Poster - Have you or someone you know travelled to China? (Chinese language, PDF)

Leaflet - Coronavirus - what you need to know (PDF)

Leaflet - Coronavirus - what you need to know (PDF)

 

Page last updated: 13 February 2020

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