Toi Te Ora Medical Officer of Health Dr Neil de Wet says that 26 people are in self-isolation for COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, in the Bay of Plenty District Health Board region.
On Saturday night, the Ministry of Health reported that there continue to be no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
In New Zealand, self-isolation registrations with Healthline continue to grow. A further 341 registrations for self-isolation were made on Friday and as at midnight February 14 just under 4000 people had registered since the register went live at 5pm on Friday February 7.
The people who are self-isolating have been registered with the Ministry of Health, and the local medical officer of health on call will be notified if any of them develop any symptoms that may be indicative of the virus.
Self-isolation means staying away from situations where you could infect other people, says the Ministry of Health website.
“This means any situation where you may come in close contact with others, face to face contact closer than 1 metre for more than 15 minutes, such as social gatherings, work, school, child care/pre-school centres, university, polytechnic and other education providers, faith-based gatherings, aged care and health care facilities, prisons, sports gatherings, restaurants, and all public gatherings.”
The BOP DHB have released their pandemic plan which is available on their website here. Lessons learned during the H1N1 (2009) pandemic have been incorporated into the plan which deals with the immediate response required for any outbreak of an infectious disease.
On Saturday afternoon, the Government announced that temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further eight days. This position will be reviewed every 48 hours.
New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family returning to New Zealand will continue to be able to enter, but are being told to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.
Globally, the World Health Organization reports there are just over 49,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with only three of 1381 confirmed deaths occurring outside mainland China.
The number of passengers arriving directly to New Zealand from mainland China has decreased from approximately 2000 per day to 500 passengers or less.
The Ministry of Health is continuing to work with border agencies to ensure people who left mainland China after February 2 2020 are aware of the need to self-isolate for 14 days and register with Healthline.
Healthline's dedicated COVID-19 number, 0800 358 5453, is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Ministry is encouraging anyone who has not yet registered as a result of their travel to China, to do so. This will help ensure they can regularly check on people’s welfare and wellbeing while they are in self-isolation, while supporting New Zealand’s overall response to novel coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health also want to acknowledge and thank the thousands of people who have responded so positively to the self-isolation process.
In addition, the Ministry is also working with Customs to enable Healthline to proactively contact all people who have arrived in New Zealand from or via China since February 2 who have not registered.
With regard to cruise ship travel, the Master or ship's doctor must tell the local public health staff if there is anyone on board with symptoms of concern. This includes symptoms of COVID-19.
There are well established procedures in place which enable health agencies to share information on cases and contacts within New Zealand and with health authorities overseas.
The Ministry of Health has issued a reminder that COVID-19 is spread by people coughing or sneezing, close personal contact and coming into contact with an object or surface with viral particles on it – and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
So practising good hygiene, regularly washing your hands, and practising good cough etiquette is really important in keeping yourself and the community safe. To do this, maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and remember to washing hands.
More information is available here: