29 Feb 2020

Coronavirus: Officials review airport procedures after arrival of infected person

2:18 pm on 29 February 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says officials are reviewing what happened at Auckland Airport when a New Zealand citizen infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus arrived back in the country this week.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

Yesterday, testing confirmed New Zealand's first case of the Covid-19 coronavirus - a citizen in their 60s, who had recently travelled back from Iran.

The person, in their 60s, had recently travelled from Iran and returned on an Emirates flight via Bali.

They were not subject to any health checks at the border, but were taken to Auckland Hospital by family members after showing symptoms of the virus.

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

Ardern said the person's family did everything right.

"We are just doing a check of specifically what happened at the airport upon arrival, because whilst the patient has done everything we would expect and done it spot on, we're just doing a check that everything we would expect was done at the border as well."

Ardern said people sitting near the patient on the flight have been contacted by health officials.

Meanwhile, some Auckland supermarkets have today been swamped with unusually high numbers of shoppers purchasing toilet paper, hand sanitizer and tinned food.

Ardern said there is no need to panic.

"I'm absolutely confident that this is the health system is responding as we would expect, what has been beyond our control has been what I would call irresponsible headlines, if you need a bottle of milk go and get it, if you don't do not react in any other way than you would on any other day."

The World Health Organisation has also moved to raise its global risk alert on the novel coronavirus to its highest level - "very high" - but continued to say containment was still possible.

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