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Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update #5

New Zealand has no confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to date, but the likelihood of importing a case is high. The Ministry of Health is monitoring the situation closely and is encouraging those who have not yet registered as a result of their travel to China, to do so.

The self-isolation registrations in New Zealand continues to grow. Until midnight, 14 February just under 4000 people (3998) had registered with the Healthline.

Media release
15 February 2020
 
There continues to be no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
 
This afternoon, the Government announced that temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
 
The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position will be reviewed every 48 hours.
 
New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family returning to New Zealand will continue to be able to enter, but are being told to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.
 
Globally, the World Health Organization reports there are just over 49,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with only three of 1381 confirmed deaths occurring outside mainland China.

Read the media release

Advice for self-isolation

Ministry of Health has updated the self-isolation guidance.

For recent travellers arriving and transiting through mainland China are requested to:

  • Register their details with healthline within 24 hours of arrival. For registration call Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453 or if you are using an international SIM, call +64 9 358 5453.
  • Self-isolate themselves for 14 days after leaving mainland China to avoid the situation of spreading the infection. They should avoid any events where they come to contact with others.

If you are unsure if you should be self-isolating, or if you do not know where you can go, please contact Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453.

What to look out for

We all need to be vigilant about our health and the health of those around us. Signs and Symptoms are similar to a range of other illnesses
such as influenza, and fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention. If you are unsure about anything, please seek medical advice.

Good practice is to:

  • avoid close contact with people su􀃠ering acute respiratory infections
  • wash hands frequently, especially after contact with ill people or their environment
  • avoid close contact with sick farm animals or wild animals
  • people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette:
    • maintain distance
    • cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing
    • wash hands

Feeling sick

If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453.

Treatment

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new virus; there is currently no vaccine available.

If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453.

Travel advice

Though WHO has no specific recommendation for travellers, they urge people to follow basic principles to reduce the risk of acute respiratory infection. These are:

  • avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections
  • wash hands frequently, especially after contact with ill people or their environment
  • avoid close contact with sick farm animals or wild animals
  • people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette:
    • maintain distance
    • cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing
    • wash hands.

Travellers who become sick within one month of their arrival are encouraged to contact the Healthline (for free) 0800 611 116 or a doctor.

Student visa & travel

Immigrations NZ has updates for students who are concerned with visa and travel applications.

  

Advice for all UCOL Students

  • If you are a student (international or domestic) and you are in New Zealand and are feeling well, you are welcome to come to campus.  However, if you have come from or through China you must have a 14 day stand-down period (See the Ministry of Health’s advice on self isolation) and ensure you are well before coming on to campus.
  • If you are coming from China you will need to wait until travel restrictions are lifted. We can defer your start date to the next intake or the UCOL team will work with individual students, on a case by case basis, to prepare individual study plans if possible.
  • If due to airline cancellations you are unable to arrive in New Zealand in time for your programme’s start date, you will need to request an extension to be granted.  Please contact internationalstudent@ucol.ac.nz or Faculty for help with this.
  • The extension will be up to 2 weeks from the start date of your programme, subject to faculty approval. After this time there will be concerns that you will have missed too much of the programme, and we are likely to recommended that you defer until the next semester.
  • All students who start to feel unwell after arriving in New Zealand should contact the Ministry of Health, who can assist with looking after you. This may require a self-isolation period which means staying away from public gatherings, not going to supermarkets, restaurants etc. For more information on self-isolation please go to the Ministry of Health website who has more information available on this requirement. They can also be contacted via info@health.govt.nz or the free call number 0800 611 116.
  • Past the quarantine period of 14 days there is currently no risk of Coronavirus, although you are still able to suffer from common colds, flu, hayfever etc.
  • Regularly check INZ (Immigration New Zealand) for information about impacts on Visas and what to do.    

Key sources of information and advice are:

  • MFAT’s Safetravel website as on 2nd Feb 2020, it advises New Zealanders do not travel to China due to the recent outbreak.
  • Immigration NZ Coronavirus update: INZ response to the Novel Coronavirus
  • Ministry of Health’s webpage on the Coronavirus. In addition:
    • Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) questions and answers
    • The Ministry encourages travellers who become sick within a month of their arrival to seek medical advice and contact Healthline (0800 11 116) or a doctor. It is important to mention recent travel to Wuhan and any known contact with someone with severe acute respiratory llness who has been in Wuhan.
    • The Ministry is also publishing border advisories on this page which it shares with border stakeholders.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) is providing situation reports, travel advice and advises on measures to protect yourself.

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