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New Zealand patient not subject to health checks upon landing at Auckland Airport

Stuff Report;

The person being treated for coronavirus wasn’t subject to any health checks on arrival to New Zealand despite being sick on the plane.

The infected traveller flew into New Zealand on Wednesday, February 26, from Tehran, Iran via Bali on Emirates flight EK450.

The patient is being treated in Auckland City Hospital and is in isolation in a negative pressure room to prevent any spread of the disease. They have been in the room since arriving at the hospital.

The Ministry of Health’s director of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield spoke with Kim Hill of RNZ on Saturday morning, saying the patient was improving, which was “good news”.

Bloomfield told RNZ the patient wasn’t subject to any health checks when they arrived in the country and travelled in on a Kiwi passport.

Passengers arriving into New Zealand are given information in both English and Mandarin about the virus and if they are identified as being unwell they would be assessed and transported to hospital.

The health assessments are not compulsory, and passengers can opt in if they feel ill.

The patient had reportedly felt unwell on the flight so was wearing a mask.

Bloomfield told RNZ the family’s person knew exactly what to do and rang Healthline.

The patient presented with symptoms of COVID-19 – coughing and having trouble breathing – which were of particular concern.


Medical staff had a “high degree of suspicion” about the patient, so continued to take further test samples from them, Bloomfield previously told media.

The person was the first in New Zealand to fulfil the definition of a suspected case.

The first two samples were taken from the person’s throat and nasal passage, and returned a negative result.

The clinicians persisted with a third sample, which returned a positive result and pneumonia was also visible on the chest x-ray.

Bloomfield commended the clinicians in persisting.

At least three family members were also in isolation and would be offered testing.

The ministry would not be re-testing any of the people it had previously tested in New Zealand who had returned a negative result.

Bloomfield said the process followed by the person and their family was “exemplary”.

“People need to feel empowered and enabled to do the right thing. In this case, we have a family who did exactly the right thing.”

Bloomfield told RNZ he was confident in New Zealand’s testing and despite it being possible there are undiagnosed cases, the risk was very low.

The director of health said those who were self-isolating had contributed to New Zealand staying free of the virus and there’s still the opportunity to prevent the virus spreading to the community.

On Friday, the Ministry of Health insisted the risk of a community outbreak of coronavirus from the patient was low.

Bloomfield told RNZ at this point there’s no need to avoid mass gatherings, only those who’ve travelled from areas which had coronavirus areas.

“Life goes on as normal,” Bloomfield said.


Earlier this year, National’s health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse said the Government had taken too long to implement the screening.

An Auckland Airport spokesperson said it had followed “Ministry of Health guidelines since the outbreak of COVID-19, and provided assistance to public-health workers in the international terminal.”

Auckland Airport continued to prioritise the safety and well-being of its people, particularly those working in areas with high passenger numbers, the spokesperson said.

The airport is following specific guidance from the Ministry of Health and is working hard to ensure people are supported and kept well-informed as the situation evolves.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service said the airport staff who processed the EK450 flight were not considered at risk.

barber in Auckland has temporarily closed his business after he discovered he was on the same flight as the patient.

Calab Vincent-Goncalves told Stuff he wouldn’t have even known he was on the same flight as the person infected if a friend didn’t see it in the news. He said the lack of contact from the health department and the airline is a concern.

“Every person on that flight is a potential carrier and we are just letting them slip through the system instead of acting fast to ensure this does not spread.”

The Ministry said it would provide further updates on Saturday afternoon.

In the meantime shoppers are being asked not to panic and stockpile items.



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  1. The “barber in Auckland”
    He phoned Healthline immediately on Friday, and was told he was the first one to do so.
    They recommend he isolate himself.

    And so many of the passengers from that plane has continued to travel around either in Auckland, or rest of New Zealand.
    So schools, events, etc. may have been attended by one of those passengers.
    The odds are they have not caught CoVid-19, and so no further contamination, during incubation.
    Maybe just a common cold or not.
    NZ seems to have a patient zero and will be interesting to see how this petri-dish works.



  2. “In addition to close contact and contact with respiratory secretions of patients, the virus can also be transmitted through the potential faecal-oral route,” the CCDC said.

    “This means that stool samples may contaminate hands, food, water, etc, and may cause infection by invading the oral cavity, respiratory mucosa, conjunctiva, etc. This virus has many routes of transmission, which can partially explain its strong transmission and fast transmission speed.”
    “In addition to close contact and contact with respiratory secretions of patients, the virus can also be transmitted through the potential faecal-oral route,” the CCDC said.

    “This means that stool samples may contaminate hands, food, water, etc, and may cause infection by invading the oral cavity, respiratory mucosa, conjunctiva, etc. This virus has many routes of transmission, which can partially explain its strong transmission and fast transmission speed.”


    Wash you hands all the time.



    • Yeah, Styx is great! I really enjoy watching his videos – he has a great sense of humour too.

      I had to smile when he mentioned New Zealand (on the list of infected countries) and he got in a little dig about sheep (something like “there goes your mutton” or something like that…… 🙂 )



    • Great way to skew a survey? Panic-buying?
      Have you been running around like a headless chicken buying everything in sight in case the sky falls in?
      Who would answer yes to that? – other than WG (bless you sister)
      Have you been prudently increasing stocks of essential supplies in case of quarantine?
      Well no, but I might.



      • I happily admit to having taken precautions over the past couple of weeks topping up my pantry with rice, noodles, tins, etc but it certainly wasn’t panic buying. Instead due to being informed by YSB and a number of other excellent bloggers I was aware of the growing threat so had predicted this might happen when the shit hit the fan so to speak. My purchasing of essentials was calm, measured and planned. 😷

        I wonder how Socialist Cindy will cope with this crisis. I see she is claiming this afternoon that NZ border security for Coronavirus is now stronger than Australia’s.



  3. Where is our Part Time Prime Minister?
    Having a naughty holiday weekend?
    Supping in the posh cafes and restaurants in flash suburbs of Sydney?
    She maybe buying a new tea towel for the hugathon in Christchurch, maybe?
    Why are you not here in NZ. You are a bloody useless bitch,
    Front up and do your bloody job!



  4. It seems that there may be no problems about the spread of CoVid-19
    A ‘cruisy’ life, just like how he drove his car, travels around, and orders to home detention?, well?

    ~ Qungli Wen, 24, is supposed to be in quarantine after spending time in China
    ~ Chinese national managed to get back into Australia to face drink-drive charges
    ~ While ordered into home detention he ventured out to a Melbourne court
    ~ His lawyer wouldn’t shake his hand such was his fears of contamination
    ~ A magistrate expressed concern about Wen being at a nearby cafe while at risk


    Life is good, may be a sniffle for him, no conviction, and the rest of Melbourne have to wonder for a while if he was contagious.

    Some will be very good and careful about the self quarantine.
    Others, well,….. can you really trust them?
    Do they understand the implications, or will the consequences for others just be collateral damage?, Like his car?



  5. A clean break with the UN should be done!
    Who in NZ can make that decision if other countries look at making that move?
    I would even accept a “Captain’s Call”. 🙂

    makes a clean break with the U.N. over this developing scandal, we can anticipate a proposal for a global tax to finance the “global health infrastructure” that the Trump critics claim he has decimated. It turns out that Dr. Tedros was a member of the “High-Level Task Force for Innovative Financing for Health Systems,” a group which recommended global taxes for the U.N. They call them “solidarity levies” on airline tickets, tobacco and currency transactions.
    They probably want some of the money “in solidarity” to go to China.

    Expect more hysteria that is designed to divert our attention from the source of the disease – Communist China. Trump’s critics don’t want lives saved; they want lives destroyed.

    Such a stuff up by China, WHO & UN to cover their ‘arses’ & continues to keep the gravy train flowing to them.
    For immediate starters the current fee that we pay to the UN should be stopped and diverted to any of the CoVid-19 health and economic costs in NZ.



  6. What a “convolution” of a scheme set up by World Bank

    By far the riskier of the two bonds is “Class B,” which sold $95 million in bonds (compared to $225 million for the less risky “Class A,” explained above). For Class B, if the disease crosses an international border and if there are at least 20 deaths in that second country, the investors’ money will be paid to developing countries dealing with the outbreak.

    Although no second country has recorded 20 deaths at the time of writing, Iran, Italy and South Korea have all recorded more than 10 with the numbers rising steadily in recent days. Other conditions for this bond include that there are 250 deaths in the origin country (already long since passed in China) and that 12 weeks have passed since the original outbreak (a condition which will be met on March 23).

    In the terms of both bonds, it is stipulated that coronavirus outbreaks count as one of the diseases covered. ……

    …… an economist at the World Bank for three decades, said it was absurd that discussions for a second round of bonds for what is known officially as the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) had begun, as they were effectively “designed to fail.”

    “Early action against outbreaks is imperative, because it is both more effective and less costly. But making the bonds attractive to investors meant designing them to reduce the probability of payout,” ……

    ……. The World Bank’s bond sale was 200% oversubscribed, meaning investors saw moneymaking opportunities with the high-yield returns on offer. Most buyers came from Europe, and included specialized catastrophe bond investors as well as asset managers and pension funds. …..

    …… set to mature in July 2020 …..

    …… estimated last week that the spread of the virus to regions outside Asia would knock 1.3% off global growth this year, the equivalent of $1.1 trillion in lost income. ….

    So some are more ahead, and others are more are dead in the roulette wheel of fortune.
    What do you make of this?



  7. Otago Uni want to panic and move the old, unwell and “vulnerable people” away from their normal support networks, their own homes and kitchens, and concentrating them in some hastily organized mass camp on an offshore island somewhere… sounds crazy and a great way to ensure those people get sick and don’t recover. (IMHO.)

    Fortunately I don’t believe for a minute that the government is capable of organizing and doing something like this though!




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