New Zealand has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, a 60 years old person who recently came from Iran and travelled to Auckland via Bali had tested positive for COVID-19.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the news while speaking to media in Sydney. She said that New Zealand is already prepared for this scenario. The person is a permanent resident of New Zealand and is being treated with all the precautions and this, of course, all is subjected to their pandemic plan that they have had prepared since early January and now they are informing all the of the protocols for such a scenario.
Health officials said that the woman is being treated in Auckland City Hospital. They told that the person is in an improving condition, he is put in isolation, in a negative pressure room for preventing further spread of the infection.
Officials said the lady arrived in Auckland on Wednesday and her family took her to hospital after becoming concerned about her condition.
The officials said in the statement that although it is the first case of coronavirus, the chances of further spread and community outbreak remain low. They urged passengers on the final leg of the flight, Emirates EK450 which goes to Auckland to contact the authorities if they were concerned.
However, the authorities downplayed the suspected risk to the public by saying the situation was being well managed.
New Zealand health minister, David Clark said the country is introducing strict travel bans on people coming from Iran just like those already imposed on the arrivals from China. People will not be able to travel to New Zealand from Iran and anyone who has been in Iran in the previous 14 days will need to self-isolate.
He said the decision was made after a spike in coronavirus infections in Iran, where there are 26 deaths, the highest death toll outside mainland China. He said this current situation in Iran is alarming; there is ongoing further spread of infections and a large degree of uncertainty about the scale of COVID-19 outbreak and the ability to control it. He said the information that is coming out of Iran appears to be out of step with that’s coming out of other nations in terms of the death rate per incidence.
According to the National Health Commission, there are at least 44 coronavirus deaths in China bringing the number of nationwide fatalities to 2,788. It has infected more than 83,000 people and killed more than 2,800 people worldwide.
World Health Organization Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that all nation should get prepared for a potential pandemic, as nations other than China now account for around three-quarters of new coronavirus infections. He said that COVID-19 has pandemic potential as 12 countries reported their first confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.
According to WHO, outside China, the coronavirus has spread to further 46 nations where about 3,700 recent cases and 57 fatalities have been reported so far.
New Zealand confirmed its first coronavirus case, while several Asian and European countries also confirmed their first cases. Meanwhile, it has become clear the new virus will take a large toll on the global economy.