7 Apr 2020

NZ identifies pasifika communities as at risk to Covid-19

2:57 pm on 7 April 2020

New Zealand's government has identified Pacific communities as facing greater risk of exposure to Covid-19.

The associate health minister said heavy urbanisation and larger households, put Pacific families at risk of rapid coronavirus spread if preventive measures were not observed.

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa.

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa. Photo: RNZ / John Gerritson

Jenny Salesa said the reliance on face-to-face healthcare and disability services heightened the risk of contact with the illness.

"Pacific communities face unique challenges that require a targeted response to keep our communities well and out of hospital emergency rooms," she said.

Cabinet endorsed a $US10-million support package to help address these risks.

Mrs Salesa said a key focus would be to help migrate people to online health services and to communicate health messaging in the languages of Pacific communities.

"So people better understand what they need to do to combat the virus, and how they can obtain help when they need it."