First confirmed case of Covid-19 in New Zealand

A New Zealand citizen who has recently returned to the country from Iran via Bali has been confirmed to have the Covid-10 coronavirus.

RNZ – New Zealand confirms case of Covid-19 coronavirus

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed this afternoon that a suspected case of Covid-19 coronavirus has tested positive.

Ardern said the person was in their 60s, and was a citizen of New Zealand who had recently travelled from Iran via Bali. They had previously tested negative for Covid-19 twice.

The person was in an improving condition in isolation in Auckland hospital, having arrived on Wednesday night and gone home in a private car.

Minister of Health David Clark said the person “followed all of the steps you would hope would be followed.”

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the person arrived this week from Iran, where the virus had been rapidly spreading.

RNZ – Coronavirus: What is Covid-19 and how to protect yourself from the outbreak

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the new strain of coronavirus, named Covid-19, a global public health emergency.

What is Covid-19?

The new flu-like disease is now called Covid-19 (sometimes referred to as novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV).

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which cause illnesses like the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

What are the symptoms?

Many people with the virus have symptoms similar to the flu, and having the symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have Covid-19. It’s not certain how long symptoms take to appear after a person has been infected, but WHO assessments suggest it is 2-10 days.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing – this is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

How is coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus, like the flu, can spread from person to person, by droplets from someone who is infected.

Droplet-spread diseases can be spread by coughing and sneezing and close personal contact.

When an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, they may generate droplets containing the virus. These droplets are too large to stay in the air for long, so they quickly settle on surrounding surfaces.

You can also catch the disease by contact with an object or surface with viral particles on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes, the ministry says.

WHO expert Dr Bruce Aylward said 10 percent of people who come in contact with an infected person contracts the virus.

How to avoid catching and spreading it

Good hygiene, regularly washing and thoroughly drying your hands, and other simple steps can help stop the spread, the Ministry of Health says.

These include avoiding close contact with people with cold- or flu-like illnesses and covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing.

Washing hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and drying them thoroughly, before eating or handling food, after using the toilet, after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses or after caring for sick people can help prevent spreading the disease.

The Ministry of Health‘s public information campaign is focusing on handwashing as a simple way to protect yourself and your family.

What to do if you may have been exposed

If you have returned anywhere from mainland China or if you may have been exposed to Covid-19, authorities want you to isolate yourself for 14 days.

The Ministry of Health says if you have the symptoms and have recently been to mainland China or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with the illness, phone the dedicated free Healthline number 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 from international SIMS) or your doctor immediately.

Read more here

I don’t come into personal contact with many people at work, and could work from home if things got dicey. But one of my colleagues has a child at school and another at university, and I am often in contact with grandkids at various (four) schools, so isolating would be difficult without shutting myself away from all contact.

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25 Comments

  1. NZ Herald – Coronavirus: Massive queues at supermarkets after first NZ case confirmed

    People appear to be panic buying and “stocking up for the apocalypse” following confirmation of the first coronavirus case in New Zealand.

    Customers reported massive queues – one man claimed up to a kilometre – at many Auckland supermarkets on Friday night – water, hand sanitiser, soap and tissues were flying off the shelves.

    Many people posting on social media have described panic buying while checkout operators say it’s busier than Christmas time.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12312732

    If there was an actual risk wouldn’t it be safer staying at home?

    Reply
    • david in aus

       /  29th February 2020

      “If there was an actual risk wouldn’t it be safer staying at home?”, remember, you always have to eat to survive. When is the best time to buy food for individuals or families? In these times, it was yesterday. There are fewer people infected now than there will be in several weeks. Nevertheless, for the population the government should calm people and say that NZ is a food exporter, they will always stock shelves, so panic buying is not necessary.

      Take a leaf from Singapore’s response. Give information, say that each household will get masks ( I am assuming that have planned). Emphasize hand hygiene and consideration for those in the community.

      Looking at the news, Iran and Italy are the places where coronavirus appears to be out of control. New cases, such as in NZ, Iceland, Wales, Middle East, appears to be emanating from those places. I do not think they are testing adequately and quarantine practices are lax.

      Reply
      • David

         /  29th February 2020

        The Italian case is alarming, the guy went to A and E after returning from China and they sent him home, he returned 2 days later and left him in a ward for 13 hours before testing him.

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  29th February 2020

        Home delivery is a great thing. I do this on a large scale as the delivery costs the same for a month’s worth of groceries as a week’s worth. If people are that worried, they can order online.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  29th February 2020

          Arent the delivery costs have a hidden subsidy from the higher prices of the items?
          Thats how Uber eats works, with ‘low value charge’, with ‘surge charge’s and the item is dearer than what is charged the eat in customers

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  29th February 2020

            I am talking about supermarkets, not Uber which reportedly ups the actual price. Supermarkets charge the same price online. The word would soon get out if they charged more and people wouldn’t go there.

            I know that the prices are the same. The delivery isn’t cheap, but if one doesn’t have to go to the supermarket again for at least a month, it’s well worth it.

            Reply
  2. A comment from Kiwiblog:

    In the Auckland corona virus case the person or a family member called Healthline seeking advice. As reported in the news last night the advice was to go seek medical advice.
    Shouldn’t the advice have been to firstly self-isolate and then get the specialist corona virus isolation and diagnosis teams to come to you.
    Naturally I assume the government has organized such teams, or is that naive?

    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2020/02/general_debate_29_february_2020.html#comment-2651323

    Newshub:

    The person arrived in Auckland on February 26.

    Upon arrival, the person travelled back to his home in a private car.

    The person is in their 60s and is a citizen of New Zealand.

    Later on in the day, the family became concerned about their condition and contacted the Healthline.

    “They followed all of the steps that you would hope would be followed,” Clark said.

    They were then referred to the emergency department where everyone was aware to take the appropriate precautions.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/02/how-new-zealand-s-first-coronavirus-case-unfolded.html

    That isn’t really make it clear what happened between home and ED.

    But best not to go to your doctor or too ED but to contact Healthline and if necessary arrange with your local ED how to get there or to hospital safely.

    Reply
  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  29th February 2020

    It’s a counsel of perfection to tell people to wash their hands every time they blow their nose.

    I always carry hand sanitiser in my handbag and have for years, but I must admit that I don’t use it or run to the nearest loo to wash my hands every time I sneeze, cough or blow my nose. I do, of course, wash or use hand sanitiser before I eat in a cafe where I will be picking the thing up with my hands.

    I’d have thought that anyone with any sense would be doing most of those things anyway. The ones who don’t, probably won’t.

    Reply
  4. David

     /  29th February 2020

    https://www.jpost.com/HEALTH-SCIENCE/Israeli-scientists-In-three-weeks-we-will-have-coronavirus-vaccine-619101

    Israeli,s seem to have something promising. Lets hope they dont make it available to the loons from BDS.
    Trump has offered support to Iran if they want it.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  29th February 2020

      Thats bullshit , just hype. No vaccine will be available to public for 18 months . Thats because its not given to sick people but healthy people, there is enough angst over vaccines which is why the testing takes so long.
      A medication for sick people with CV-19 is much more likely sooner

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  29th February 2020

        Well, yes, it’s too late to give it to someone who has the disease already, of course.

        Reply
      • David

         /  29th February 2020

        Thanks for that Professor emeritus Duker. Read the article Dr Duker perhaps with an open mind. Its going to be a while before we get a vaccine but lets just not dismiss people because they are Jewish.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  29th February 2020

          Israeli technology is the gold standard in many fields. I have no reason to doubt this
          IF ALL THINGS GO TO PLAN.

          Reply
  5. David

     /  29th February 2020

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/daily-biotech-pulse-moderna-ships-132809238.html

    Here is a potential vaccine from someone not from Israel.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  29th February 2020

      Im sure the scientists are very capable ..its the headline thats bullshit, and that happens everywhere. “In a few weeks, we will have coronavirus vaccine”
      95 % of any medical breakthroughs are empty claims in the media
      Much of the terminology used seems unscientific and Covid -19 is the disease name not the scientific name of the virus which is SARS-CoV-2

      But I dont see it as a problem them giving it to Jewish people “in a few weeks from now” if they think its so great . Go right ahead and keep us in touch on how it turns out.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  29th February 2020

        I think that some people confuse vaccine and cure.

        I can well believe that a vaccine will be found, but it won’t cure people and, like the flu vaccine, won’t stop it if the person already has the bug but no symptoms yet.

        We are forever hearing about medical breakthroughs that never come to anything, I agree.

        Reply
        • David

           /  29th February 2020

          Yeh not sure there is anyone who doesn’t know the difference between a vaccine and a cure.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  29th February 2020

            Some people appear not to know the difference.

            They think that if they have the flu, getting the vaccine will cure it.

            Reply
  6. America’s “very stable genius” calls coronavirus reporting a hoax… I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately but I think it may have been a huge mistake to find the worst human being in America, make him President, and have him lead the rest of us to our doom.

    Reply
    • David

       /  29th February 2020

      Have you seen what the arsehole has done with african american unemployment and the criminal justice reform let alone the extra money he has pumped into black colleges. While we are at it calling in the feds to arrest the slaughter of black americans in Chicago. The worst is the 6 million that have come off food stamps.
      The thing which must really piss you off is the decline in deaths from opiods for the first time in 14 years.
      Yes I get all that but the tweets

      Reply
      • What are you blathering on about. Are you denying Trump has labelled coronavirus reporting a hoax? Are you trying to divert attention away from another Trumpian crisis of credibility and competence? Or are you just blathering because you’re a Trump cultist?

        Reply
      • of course you could always continue to deny reality… but then there’s this…

        Reply
      • And then there’s this…

        Reply
      • And this…

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  1st March 2020

        Opoid deaths reduction quite small
        “The decline was due almost entirely to a dip in deaths from prescription opioid painkillers,….Fatal overdoses involving other drugs, particularly fentanyl and methamphetamine, continued to rise.”

        Likely states tightening up of doctors over prescribing…..

        Reply

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