New Zealand FINALLY draws up sensible guidelines on coronavirus

New Zealand FINALLY draws up sensible guidelines on coronavirus

I
have been forced to take a day off this while news gets more and more
dire with every passing hour, it seems.

Everyone
travelling to NZ 


from overseas to self-isolate

Radio NZ,

14 March, 2020



As
of midnight tomorrow every person arriving in New Zealand apart from
those coming from the Pacific islands will have to self- isolate,
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.


She
is addressing the media on coronavirus.

Until
now, foreign travellers arriving from mainland China and Iran have
been banned from entering the country. Travellers from South Korea
and Italy have been asked to self-isolate for two weeks on arrival.

As
of midnight Sunday every person arriving will have to isolate
themselves for 14 days, Ardern says. That will mean New Zealand will
have the strongest restrictions in the world, she said.

She
said the measures will be reviewed in 16 days and there will be more
measures and advice for self isolation next week.

All
cruise ships are also being asked to not come to New Zealand until
June 30. It does not apply to cargo ships.

The
prime minister said it is not realistic for New Zealand to only have
a handful of Covid-19 cases.

However,
“New Zealand has today relative to other countries a small
number of cases,” Ardern said.

We
have two choices as a nation, Ardern said. One is to let Covid-19
roll on, the other is to go hard on measures to stamp it out. It is
in our power to slow it down, she said.

New
Zealanders’ public health comes first and this constitutes an
unprecedented time.

“Cabinet
made far reaching and unprecedented decisions today because these are
unprecedented circumstances. As of midnight Sunday every person
entering New Zealand, including returning New Zealand citizens and
residents, will be required to enter self isolation for 14 days –
everybody.

“The
Pacific are exempted from this measure, they are the only ones.
Anyone from this country though will be required to automatically
self isolate should they exhibit any Covid-19 symptoms on arrival in
New Zealand. All of these restrictions will be reviewed in 16 days’
time.

“This
decision will mean New Zealand will have the widest ranging and
toughest border restrictions of any country in the world. We are also
encouraging New Zealanders to avoid all non-essential travel overseas
– this helps reduce the risk of a New Zealander bringing Covid-19
in.”

In
addition to restrictions on air travel, as of midnight today the
government is issuing a directive to all cruise ships not to come to
New Zealand until at least 30 June at which time the directive will
be reviewed – this is for incoming cruise ships. It doesn’t apply to
cargo ships, marine or air crew, so that sea and air freight can
remain open for imports and exports.

She
wanted to ensure that essential airfreight such as pharmaceuticals
could continue to enter the country.

“We
do not take these decisions lightly, we know these travel
restrictions will place a significant strain on the aviation industry
and we anticipate some routes will reduce or cease for a period of
time.”

On new travel restrictions re Covid-19

Jacinda Ardern refers to some of the latest information that is guiding the government’s response to Covid-19. Photo: RNZ / Jogai Bhatt

The government will work closely with the aviation sector to support it to remain active in New Zealand so it could rebound from restrictions quickly and it would not have significant impacts on the tourism sector, exports and the economy.

There’s no need for anyone, despite these restrictions, to conduct a run on the supermarket, Ardern said.

Support for businesses to be announced on Tuesday

The Finance Minister will announce an economic response including a business continuity package on Tuesday. The Health Minister will also announce further measures and public information campaign.

Advice will be released shortly on large events where people will be in close proximity to each other, events where people have travelled from overseas and non-ticketed events.

New border exit measures for those travelling to the Pacific will be put in place including no travel for people who have travelled outside of New Zealand in the past 14 days, no travel for close or casual contacts of a confirmed case, no travel for anyone who is a confirmed case and no travel for anyone who is symptomatic.

Significantly more people will enter self-isolation as a result of these measures. Health authorities have been asked to step up enforcement of self-isolation through measures such as health checks, Ardern said.

“These measures while disruptive are needed to make the space we need as a nation to prepare and manage the spread.”

    Earlier today, a sixth case of Covid-19 was confirmed by Waitematā District Health Board, and tomorrow’s mosque attack national memorial service in Christchurch was cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus.

    The
    sixth case of Covid-19 coronavirus in New Zealand has been confirmed
    by Waitematā District Health Board.

    Waitemata
    DHB chief executive Dale Bramley announced this afternoon that a man
    who returned home from the United States of America on 6 March has
    been confirmed as having the virus.

    The
    man, who is in his sixties, heard a friend in the US was infected
    with Covid-19 and went to a GP on Thursday. Tests from Auckland City
    Hospital showed he was positive for the virus last night.

    He
    was currently doing well at home and his wife was in self-isolation.

    Other
    close contacts were being followed up by the Auckland Regional Health
    Service and would be asked to go into self-isolation.

    The
    man attended an 8.30am church service last Sunday at St Mary’s Church
    in Papakura, the day before he started feeling unwell.

    Some
    people from that church service would be followed up as close
    contacts, Bramley said.

    The
    Catholic Bishop of Auckland, Patrick Dunn, said the wellbeing of
    parishioners was their first priority.


    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/411730/sixth-case-of-covid-19-coronavirus-in-new-zealand-confirmed

    The
    sixth case of Covid-19 coronavirus in New Zealand has been confirmed
    by Waitematā District Health Board.

    Patient
    samples at a safety workbench for coronavirus testing. Patient
    samples at a safety workbench for coronavirus testing. Photo: AFP


    Waitemata
    DHB chief executive Dale Bramley announced this afternoon that a man
    who returned home from the United States of America on 6 March has
    been confirmed as having the virus.

    The
    man, who is in his sixties, heard a friend in the US was infected
    with Covid-19 and went to a GP on Thursday. Tests from Auckland City
    Hospital showed he was positive for the virus last night.

    He
    was currently doing well at home and his wife was in self-isolation.

    Other
    close contacts were being followed up by the Auckland Regional Health
    Service and would be asked to go into self-isolation.

    The
    man attended an 8.30am church service last Sunday at St Mary’s Church
    in Papakura, the day before he started feeling unwell.

    Some
    people from that church service would be followed up as close
    contacts, Bramley said.

    The
    Catholic Bishop of Auckland, Patrick Dunn, said the wellbeing of
    parishioners was their first priority.

    The
    church is contacting people who attended the service – particularly
    older members.

    The
    church’s services today and tomorrow will continue as normal.

    Another
    probable case of Covid-19 at North Shore Hospital had been sent home
    and was doing well, Bramley said.

    About
    400 cruise ship passengers and staff have been barred from
    disembarking in Hobart due to concerns over Tasmania’s coronavirus
    status – however, a few have managed to get off the ship.

    The
    MSC Magnifica, which arrived from New Zealand this morning, has
    docked in Hobart.

    Cruise
    company MSC Cruises had taken the decision to stop people
    disembarking “to ensure [passengers’] health and safety, in
    response to potential risk of Covid-19”, according to a TasPorts
    spokesperson.

    The
    Mac 2 cruise terminal will be closed today as part of normal
    procedures.

    At
    a press conference today, Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said the
    decision followed national advice on border control.

    “We
    obviously act on the advice of the Australian Border Agency in terms
    of what occurs nationally, but controls that are set by the
    Australian government are the ones we take into account, and also the
    advice of our own health experts and the Director of Public Health.”

    “My
    understanding is there’s no outbreak of coronavirus on the ship
    itself and this is a precautionary measure that the ship [company]
    has taken.”

    Roger
    Preston-Smith, who works on the Magnifica, decided to disembark.

    “They
    are just not letting people off if you are getting back on. They were
    afraid that they would infect people getting back on,” he said.

    “I
    don’t think most people knew that.”

    Preston-Smith
    said he had “lots of friends in Australia and I just went, ‘I’d
    rather be out here.’

    “I
    knew some other people were leaving, people are leaving in Sydney a
    lot, but when I found this out I went, ‘Do it while you can.'”

    He
    said he was not fussed about having to give up his income.

    “I
    don’t want to be stuck on that ship, it’s too stressful. They’re just
    going to go out to sea and who knows how long it will sit there.”

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/411737/covid-19-cruise-passengers-jump-ship-that-arrived-in-hobart-from-nz

    Radio NZ has a livestream HERE

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