New Zealand’s health ministry released a statement on Friday saying that the country has confirmed its first case in the novel coronavirus outbreak that began in China and is now rapidly spreading around the globe.
The patient, aged 60, is being treated in Auckland City Hospital. Officials said the person, reportedly a female New Zealand citizen arrived in Auckland from Iran on Wednesday and family members took her to the hospital after being concerned for the individual’s condition.
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said that the first two samples which were taken from the throat, or nasopharynx, came out negative indicating that the patient’s symptoms were much more suggestive of a lung infection, so a third test was conducted after clinical advice.
The NZ Ministry assured the citizens that the patient is in isolation, adding that the chances of a community outbreak are very low. Currently, three of the patient’s family members are also kept under isolation, and others on the flight would be shortly contacted.
PM Jacinda Ardern, who is on a trip to Australia said that, “they are obviously being treated with all of the precautions that you would expected and this of course is all subjected to the pandemic plan that we have had in place since early January we have been prepared for this scenarios and we are now in informing all of the protocols we’ve long had in place for a scenario such as this.”
New Zealand’s Health Ministry said in a statement that it is confident that the public health risk from the infection is being well managed.