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New Zealand heath and government authorities are detailing the country’s responses, and the individual case which has been reported today.

It’s a New Zealand citizen who recently returned from Iran, and they are improving.

Public health will be contacting people who were in the same row, and the two rows ahead and behind the person on their final leg – a flight from Bali on 26 February.

They’ll be required to self-isolate for 14 days, under regular communication with local public health.

The chance of a community outbreak remains low.

“The risk of this disease is being very well managed,” said health minister David Clark, adding that all protocols have been put in place.

When they arrived back in New Zealand they traveled home in a private car and then called health workers when they began to feel unwell.

“They followed all of the steps you’d hope would be followed,” said Clark. They tested negative twice before testing positive.

New Zealand is the 48th country to identify a case of the virus, Clark said, although a widespread outbreak was still thought to be unlikely.

Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield added: “We have been preparing for this for some weeks, and we are ready.”

“A range of cross government groups are working together” and guided by the pandemic plan, said Clark.

“We are well prepared because we’ve had time to be prepared.”

Border restrictions have minimised the chance of further cases arriving.

He said his main message to the community was for anyone concerned to ring the helpline number 0800 358 5453, use good handwashing hygiene and cough etiquette.



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