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Govt to consider advice for Covid-19 hotspots

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says travel restrictions won't be extended to South Korea and Italy, but advice may be given to people in specific regions to self-isolate if they travel here.

She will bring the issue up at today's Cabinet meeting which is expected to be dominated with discussions about New Zealand's preparedness for more cases of Covid-19.

The government announced on Friday travel restrictions would be extended to Iran, after a man who'd travelled through there was diagnosed with the virus in Auckland.

Today, she told Morning Report there's very clear criteria for why the travel restrictions are for China and Iran only.

"The vast majority of cases are still coming out of there," she says.

There are also hotspot areas, such as Seoul in South Korea and northern Italy, but she says it's not possible to differentiate if someone has been in a particular region, rather than country.

"What we'll be considering today and talking about at Cabinet, and we've really been pushing health officials on this, is whether we should have specific advice for people in those regions to self-isolate.

"The advice to date has been from health officials, but we're really leaning on them on this one because we think there might be more we can be doing."

She says that with specific advise, people looking at travelling to New Zealand from hotspots in South Korea and Italy might reconsider their plans.

Jacinda says our health system has been at a heightened state for some time now.

"Our pandemic plan always sits at the ready, but we've really operationalised in response to Covid-19 at the beginning of January."

She says that while it's a significant event for New Zealand, and the world, we do need to remain calm.

"We need to add that layer of reassurance that this is the kind of situation that New Zealand is well prepared for and that we have an excellent health system."

"SARS was an eight-month period many will have forgotten which New Zealand, like others, was having to address and the memory of that still sits with our public health officials and informs our pandemic plans."

"I would also point out that other countries experiencing cases have contained and managed to stop wider community outbreak. That is the focus for New Zealand, and we've done very well to date."

RNZ.

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4 Comments
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@Politcally Incorrect

Posted on 02-03-2020 23:34 | By

Well said. Agree totally with you and you end your comment beautifully.

Omg

Posted on 02-03-2020 19:37 | By

Well what can u expect with jacinda!!! Just let the sick in the country so evey one can get sick and die from this virus. Everyone else has stopped the people voming into the country why carnt u do the same. Trouble is your to young to be in power sort ya shit out lady if u keep letting people in i hope u catch it then u will think twice maybe

OMG!!!

Posted on 02-03-2020 16:21 | By Lyrch

Surely Jacinda, is this the best that you can do? The NZ government has known about the seriousness and how virulent covid-19 is, so to combat this, your giving out pamphlets and on-plane announcements about the virus as well as temperature checks. Hmmm, let us know how well that goes?! I bet the NZ public can now breath a huge sigh of relief knowing that the government has nipped this in the bud before it has a chance to take a foothold?! I think not! Suggestion, test all incoming visitors arriving in NZ so we at least have an opportunity to try and be one step ahead of the curve. On behalf of all NZer’s, please take extraordinary measures to stop this coronavirus at the border, because up to this point your inaction has been deafening.

Really?

Posted on 02-03-2020 13:55 | By Politically Incorrect

What dream world are you living in Jacinda? "We’ve done really well to date". So far, the one case we’ve had - no one has been able to trace the other people on the flight who might be affected. I would say that was an enormous fail. Who knows how many people are infected now? Yes, some countries have, so far, contained the virus. However, look how many in the western world are still reporting new cases due to travel around and between these countries. Pull your head out of Shane Jones’ behind and get with the real world.