Radio NZ Live updates on coronavirus

Radio NZ Live updates on coronavirus

Live: Coronavirus updates

Radio NZ

Mar 5, 2020 4:17 PM

RNZ Live

Coronavirus: Italy closes schools for 10 days

Italy has confirmed that it will shut all schools from Thursday for 10 days as it battles to contain the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. All professional sport in the country, including Serie A football matches, will also be played behind closed doors for a month.


Mar 5, 2020 4:05 PM

RNZ Live

California has declared a state of emergency after announcing its first coronavirus death, bringing the US death toll from the disease to 11.

The 71-year-old man, who died in a hospital near Sacramento, had underlying health conditions and had been on a cruise ship, said officials.

The White House moved on Wednesday to expand testing nationwide for the disease.

There are now at least 150 reported US patients with Covid-19 in 16 states. 


UPDATED MAR 5, 2020 4:06 PM

Mar 5, 2020 3:47 PM

RNZ Live

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa says one of its students is in self isolation after being in close contact with the second confirmed person with coronavirus in New Zealand.

The woman had returned from northern Italy before people there were required to isolate themselves, and flew between Auckland and Palmerston North since arriving back.

A student from the Palmerston North campus had been in close contact with her on Monday and then attended a class that day.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa says in line with Ministry of Health advice, the tauira has now isolated themselves.

It says it has identified about 35 students who were in the building at the same time, but this has not increased their risk of contracting the virus. 

Mar 5, 2020 3:31 PM

RNZ Live

The Australian government has expanded its coronavirus travel ban to include South Korea, and added additional precautions for travellers from Italy.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also confirmed that the existing ban on foreign nationals travelling from China and Iran to Australia has been extended for another week.

The revised bans will be in place until 14 March but the government will review the situation within a week to determine if the travel restrictions need to be extended further.

Foreign nationals who have been in mainland China, Iran, South Korea and Italy are not allowed into Australia for 14 days from the time they left those countries.

Australian citizens and permanent residents will be able to enter Australia, but need to isolate themselves for a fortnight.

Morrison said travellers from Italy would face “advanced screening measures”, which means they will be asked more questions at check-in and have their temperatures checked on arrival in Australia.


UPDATED MAR 5, 2020 3:32 PM

Mar 5, 2020 3:11 PM

RNZ Live

Isolation count

More than 5500 people have completed a two-week isolation as a precaution against the Covid-19 coronavirus.

In a news conference the Ministry of Health told reporters there were 2000 people registered with Healthline as still being in isolation.

Mar 5, 2020 3:00 PM

RNZ Live

Nanogirl explains risks around coronavirus

There are now two confirmed cases of coronavirus here in New Zealand – while globally more than 90 thousand people have been infected. Both of the cases here are in people who’ve travelled from overseas countries experiencing an outbreak. As the virus spreads around the world – everyday facts are emerging and becoming more clear to researchers and doctors worldwide.


Mar 5, 2020 2:46 PM

RNZ Live

Dentists are asking if they will be allowed to work without masks if supplies run out because of coronavirus disruption.

The medical masks are mandatory, and the Dental Association has written to the regulatory body asking for advice.

In a newsletter to members, chief executive Dr David Crum said they had about three months worth of supplies.

He said some suppliers were rationing the masks while others had none at all.

He’s now written to the Dental Council and asked how they should treat patients if they don’t have masks.

“There’s a possibility masks may become in short supply in the future that we are in contact with the dental Council of New Zealand which are the regulators to see whether there are any other solutions.”

Practising dentist Bill O’Connor said it’s a front line defence which protect both the patient and the dentist and he wouldn’t want to work without one.

“As soon as you start working on a patient as soon as you turn on the drill and start working, there is an aerosol of spray that comes out of the patient’s mouth.

“Basically that’s what the mask is protecting the dentist and the assistant from so without a mask, you’d be breathing in straight out of the person sitting in the chair… you might as well have them sneeze all over you.”

He said they had never had to face this situation before.

Mar 5, 2020 2:31 PM

RNZ Live

The Ministry of Social Development has made 38 hardship grant payments relating to the wider impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The ministry says the payments have been made to 31 people across the country and total just over $6000.

Mar 5, 2020 2:28 PM

RNZ Live

Coronavirus: Air New Zealand stands cabin crews down

Air New Zealand has stood down cabin crew from three flights after a passenger was found to have been infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus. The airline said the crews would also be self-isolating for a fortnight as a precaution.


Mar 5, 2020 2:05 PM

RNZ Live

The Prime Minister denies any confusion was caused before the announcement of the third coronavirus case.

Health Minister David Clark announced the third positive test in a television interview this morning, but offered no further details – delaying them till a later media conference.

The Ministry has now announced all new cases will be revealed only at its daily updates.

Jacinda Ardern says that plan has been decided so health officials can get all the information and begin contact tracing, before giving more details to the public. 

Mar 5, 2020 1:50 PM

RNZ Live

Bloomfield said there was a probable fourth case that still needed to be confirmed.

He said anyone travelling on Qatar Airways flight QR 0920 can call Healthline for more information

Mar 5, 2020 1:41 PM

RNZ Live

Family members of the man with the virus go to Auckland Grammar School and Ormiston Junior College but the children have had no symptoms. Ministry of Education says there is no danger to other students.

Mar 5, 2020 1:40 PM

RNZ Live

The man infected is in self-isolation at home. He does not require hospital care and neither do the man’s family members. He has mild-moderate symptoms.

Bloomfield said three other members of the man’s family had previously been unwell with mild illnesses and are now fully recovered and self-isolation as well.

The man’s partner is being tested.

Mar 5, 2020 1:15 PM

RNZ Live

He said the results of the test were formally reported to the Ministry at about 6pm yesterday evening.

Bloomfield said this case is a case of family transmission and local transmission.

He said there is a clear link between travel to Iran recently by family members and this man who lives in the same household.

Most transmission of Covid-19 happens within families because of the close living situation, he said.

UPDATED MAR 5, 2020 1:15 PM

Mar 5, 2020 1:09 PM

RNZ Live

Bloomfield said the case did not travel to Iran.

Mar 5, 2020 1:08 PM

RNZ Live

Bloomfield says the third person to be confirmed with a case

of Covid19 is a man in Auckland in his 40s.

The man is a New Zealand resident. His family members, also

New Zealand residents, have recently returned from visiting Iran.

UPDATED MAR 5, 2020 1:16 PM

Mar 5, 2020 12:58 PM

RNZ Live

The Ministry of Health’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will shortly be addressing the media. Watch the presser here:

Mar 5, 2020 12:50 PM

RNZ Live

The National Party has taken a swipe at the Health Minister’s competency following a lack of details around the third confirmed Covid-19 case. 

David Clark announced the third positive test in a television interview this morning, but then delayed all questions until a media conference which is about to get underway.

The Ministry has since announced that, from now on, all new cases will be revealed only during its daily updates.

National leader Simon Bridges says the minister’s apparent mishap was less than competent or assured and suggests he’s not treating the crisis with the seriousness required.

Mar 5, 2020 12:09 PM

RNZ Live

The coronavirus outbreak has promoted Wellington mana whenua have temporarily stop doing hongi at their pōhiri. Here’s the full story.

Coronavirus: Hongi restriction put in place at pōhiri in Wellington

Wellington mana whenua have temporarily stopped doing hongi at their pōhiri following the third confirmed case of Covid-19 in the country. The hongi – or the pressing of noses to exchange breath – is an integral part of every pōhiri, but Te Rūnanga o Te Atiawa chairman Kura Moeahu said it would not be going ahead at pōhiri in Wellington.


Mar 5, 2020 12:01 PM

RNZ Live

Dentists seek advice on supplies of masks

Dentists are asking if they will be allowed to work without masks if supplies run out because of coronavirus disruption.

The medical masks are mandatory, and the Dental Association has written to the regulatory body asking for advice.

In a newsletter to members the Association chief executive Dr David Crum said they have about three months worth of supplies. Some suppliers were rationing the masks while others had none at all.

He hs written to the Dental Council to ask how they should treat patients if they don’t have masks.

Practising dentist Bill O’Connor says masks are a front-line defence and he wouldn’t want to work without one.

“As soon as you start working on a patient, as soon as you turn on the drill and start working, there is an aerosol of spray that comes out of the patient’s mouth.

“Basically that’s what the mask is protecting the dentist and the assistant from so without a mask …you might as well have them sneeze all over you.”

We’ve been here before’: Auckland principal on coronavirus precautions

Auckland Secondary Principals Association president Richard Dykes says schools are following advice from health officials on the coronavirus outbreak.

Two students, who attend Westlake Boys’ and Westlake Girls’ high schools, are in isolation at home after their mother tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.

The Association’s executive met yesterday and will be advising principals to make sure there are precautions in place to prevent spread of infection, Dykes says.

“We’re still in this phase of ‘keep it out, stamp it out’. We are working with the authorities, we will follow their advice, and it seems like the appropriate action to be taking at this stage.”

Schools were already being vigilant and the association was encouraging them to remind staff and students to wash their hands.

“We’re not expecting any phone calls tomorrow saying schools are closed down. We’re nowhere near that stage.

“The last thing we want is people to panic

“We deal with these isolated cases. We’ve been here before with the measles, with SARS … so we again reiterate we’re working with the authorities. we’re following their advice.”

UPDATED MAR 5, 2020 11:50 AM

Mar 5, 2020 11:23 AM

RNZ Live

Air NZ cabin crew self-isolating after passenger tested positive

Air New Zealand has stood down cabin crew from three flights after a passenger was found to have been infected with coronavirus.

The airline says the crews will also be self-isolating for a fortnight as a precaution.

It comes after a woman travelled from Milan to Singapore on Singapore Airlines and then on to Auckland in February on Air New Zealand. She took an internal flight to Palmerston North a week later.

Her diagnosis was confirmed on Tuesday night.

A spokeswoman for the airline says it is updating staff regularly and giving them information on best ways to protect themselves.

Singapore Airlines has also asked pilots and cabin crew who were on the Milan to Singapore flight with the woman to take leave.

Mar 5, 2020 11:13 AM

RNZ Live

Ardern says more details around the third case will be shared about 1pm today.

She says as test results come through they’ll be announced at a regular time each day.

The confirmation of the third case came in response to questions to the Director General of Health on Morning Report this morning – the Prime Minister says officials have to be available for questions and when they are they’ll respond with accurate information.

Ardern says the priority for any new case is contacting the person who has tested postive and then tracing their closest contacts.

UPDATED MAR 5, 2020 11:17 AM

Mar 5, 2020 11:02 AM

RNZ Live

“Our public health system is designed for these sorts of scenarios and issues” , she says. “We have a comprehensive pandemic plan that is in place.”

“This is a global issue, we will have cases and we will have to continue to manage cases. We can do it better than most.”

Mar 5, 2020 10:59 AM

RNZ Live

Ardern says there’s significant capacity for testing for Covid-19 in New Zealand of up to 550 tests a day.

Mar 5, 2020 10:58 AM

RNZ Live

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the most important thing people can do during the coronavirus outbreak is to stay home if they are ill, and, carry out basic hygiene measures like handwashing.

She is speaking after New Zealand’s third coronavirus case was confirmed this morning.

“Basic public health is what will get us through.”

credit: RNZ / Dan Cook

UPDATED MAR 5, 2020 11:44 AM

Mar 5, 2020 10:46 AM

RNZ Live

NZ sharemarket opens higher

Shares prices rose at the opening of the New Zealand market this morning following a rally on US markets.

The NZX benchmark Top 50 index begun the trading day up 1.3 percent, or 143 points, after yesterday’s 71 point rise.

Almost all of the companies saw increases in price, especially those with ties to China.

Global markets have suffered hefty losses over the past two weeks, as investors fear the economic impact of Covid-19 is worse than expected.

Pressure remains on the New Zealand dollar, with its price against the Australian dollar the lowest in three months.

Mar 5, 2020 10:34 AM

RNZ Live

Family gets bullied on social media

The Auckland family in isolation after the mother tested positive for Covid-19 is being abused on social media and officials are warning such attacks could lead to people hiding their illness.

The woman is the second confirmed Covid-19 case in New Zealand and her partner is awaiting test results. Their two children are with them in isolation at home.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service Dr William Rainger said the family had done everything right and had minimised the risk to others.

“Yet they have become the focus of sustained and abusive bullying on social media and are being hounded by the media.

“There is a high level of anxiety and concern in the school and wider communities, but it is not acceptable to attack people who have been caught up in this global outbreak.”

Rainger says the abuse might put people off seeking medical help.

Mar 5, 2020 10:29 AM

RNZ Live

Covid-19: Student says racism becoming more common

A Wellington student says some people are using the Covid-19 coronavirus as a disguise for racism.

Louise Jiang, an actor training at the New Zealand Drama School, said despite being born here people have told her to “go home” and she’s also noticed other, more subtle racism.

“Whenever you get on the bus people will turn away from you. It’s quite a microagression.

“If there’s another place to sit people don’t usually sit near you.

“I had someone hold their breath in an elevator that I was taking and then exhale as soon as I got out.”

Last weekend on Wellington’s Courtenay Place she got told to go home, she said.

“If this is happening in a city like Wellington which is really good with racial diversity and respecting cultures, if it’s happening to me, I’m more concerned about people that have no been here that long or younger people or the elderly. It makes me really angry.”

Jiang says the media is being irresponsible in its coverage and the pictures it uses.

“They just shoot a bunch of Asian faces and under it they’ll say ‘coronavirus updates’. They took a picture of a family of Asian people holding a box of Dettol imply that all the Chinese people are taking the hand sanitiser so the rest of us can’t get any.”

Jiang says the media should put out accurate content that helps better inform people, rather than fearmongering and making money off the existing bias towards the Asian demographic.

Mar 5, 2020 9:50 AM

RNZ Live

Covid-19 could already be spreading in the community – expert

Public health professor Michael Baker says community transmission could already be happening in New Zealand.

“The term used quite a bit is silent transmission and that is because this is a mild illness for most people, maybe up to 80 percent and so they can have what looks like a common cold and can infect other people,” he says.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says Covid-19 could be spreading in the community but the term silent transmission doesn’t mean people don’t have symptoms. He says studies so far show Covid-19 only spreads once people have symptoms.

Mar 5, 2020 8:55 AM

RNZ Live

Latest on the spread of Covid-19 in other countries:

– Italy, which is Europe’s worst hit country, has had 107 deaths from coronavirus and more than 2700 confirmed cases, the authorities say. It prepared new emergency measures on Wednesday to try to slow the spread of the virus, including the possible closure of all schools, universities, cinemas, theatres and most public events

– The outbreak has affected almost all of Iran’s provinces, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday. Iran has more than 2900 confirmed cases with a death toll of 92

– The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Britain rose to 87 in the biggest daily jump since it was first detected in the country

– Japan’s confirmed infections topped 1000, mostly from the Diamond Princess cruise liner, as the government reiterated that plans for the Tokyo Olympics in July remained on track

– The World Bank announced a $US12bn aid package for developing countries struggling with the virus.

Mar 5, 2020 8:22 AM

RNZ Live

Third case of coronavirus confirmed in New Zealand

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield confirmed a third positive test result had come in.

He told Morning Report the positive Covid-19 result was not of the partner of the Auckland woman who tested positive on Tuesday. “The swab for the partner of the second case is being processed today, so the positive result we received last night is a different case.”

Bloomfield would not say which part of the country the person was in.

Mar 5, 2020 6:58 AM

RNZ Live

Good morning – we’ll be bringing you updates on the coronavirus in New Zealand as the outbreak continues to spread globally.

A quick recap: A woman in her 30s was yesterday confirmed as the second confirmed case of Covid-19 in New Zealand. Her partner is awaiting test results and the family, including two pupils from Westlake Boys and Westlake Girls high schools, are in isolation at home.

The first person to be confirmed in New Zealand as having Covid-19 was recovering in hospital in Auckland

New Zealand is one of 74 countries which have reported confirmed cases of Covid-19. Globally there have been more than 93,000 cases and some 3200 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation

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