4 Mar 2020

Coronavirus: NZ softball officials flew with infected woman

5:59 pm on 4 March 2020

Two New Zealand officials involved in a World Baseball Softball Confederation tournament in Palmerston North were on a flight with an Auckland woman infected with coronavirus.

Air New Zealand plane.

An Air NZ plane. Photo: Supplied / Air NZ

Health officials today announced the woman, aged in her 30s, had been confirmed as the second case of the Covid-19 coronavirus in New Zealand.

She had returned from holidaying in northern Italy last Tuesday, 25 February, and had flown from Auckland to Palmerston North on flight NZ5013 on Monday, 2 March, and back to Auckland on NZ8114 the same day.

Bloomfield said the woman is self-isolating at home and is being monitored. She does not require hospitalisation.

Her partner has also displayed symptoms and is being tested.

The softball officials were on flight NZ8114 from Palmerston North to Auckland, Softball NZ officials said. They then went on to officiate a tournament involving police and the military in Whenuapai this week.

Softball NZ said they had left the base when they were informed a person with the Covid-19 coronavirus had been on the flight.

It said they were showing no symptoms of the virus and did not feel unwell.

They had been told by health officials they did not need to isolate themselves.

Meanwhile, the union for airline crew said 13 staff members were potentially in contact with the woman on the three flights she took.

E Tū union head of aviation Savage said the union and the company were now talking about what that meant now for those crew.

He said none had displayed any symptoms.

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

Also today, the New Zealand Olympic Committee said they were not expecting any cancellation or postponement of this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo because of the coronavirus.

The spread of the disease has led to speculation the event could either not go ahead or be pushed back until later in the year.

In its latest update, the International Olympic Committee urged athletes to prepare "full steam" ahead - and NZOC boss Kereyn Smith said they were doing exactly that.