Tairāwhiti Iwi Chairs calls for calm after latest Covid-19 cases

7:54 am on 15 April 2020

The Tairāwhiti Iwi Chairs are asking people to remain calm after two new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the region.

Te Matatini Society chairperson Selwyn Parata.

Toitū Tairāwhiti spokesperson Selwyn Parata has pointed to heightened levels of anxiety. Photo: RNZ

The DHB has had just one case before the latest two, but their overall total of three is still the lowest of all DHBs in the country.

The man, in his 50s and the woman in her 40s, were among the 17 new cases across New Zealand announced by the Ministry of Health yesterday.

The DHB said both cases were unrelated to each other, and neither had connections to the recent domestic repatriation flight from Auckland on 6 April.

Four-hundred-and-sixty-one tests have now been completed in the region, which has the lowest number of cases in the country.

Toitū Tairāwhiti spokesperson Selwyn Parata said people needed to remain calm.

"While we appreciate the seriousness of this development and the heightened levels of anxiety, we are confident that health authorities are doing all they can to reduce the risk of any other Covid-19 cases in Tairāwhiti."

"Our message to our whānau is that we must all do our bit in the fight against Covid-19 and that is, stay at home, maintain hygiene and safe zone practices, and stop all unnecessary travel," Parata said.

He said people were causing unnecessary harm and anxiety in overwhelmed communities.

"We need to stop speculating on Facebook about suspected Covid-19 cases in our rohe. Facebook posts about the location of recently-confirmed Tairawhiti Covid-19 cases are not helpful."

"We cannot run the risk of scaring people from coming forward to be tested, due to fear of public criticism and harassment.

"Any members in our whānau and our community who show flu symptoms needs to feel comfortable and supported to come forward and be tested."

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre

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