21 February 2020
Note: for the most recent information see our main COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) page.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield addresses media on 21st February 2020 at 2:00pm, to give an update on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).
- Dr Bloomfield confirmed there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand currently.
- He outlined the current status of the six New Zealanders who arrived at Whangaparāoa Reception Centre last night. All are in fine spirits and showing no symptoms of COVID-19 following their first health check by a General Practitional earlier today.
- Dr Bloomfield has thanked those six New Zealanders and their families for staying at the centre and said they realise the importance of this to the overall response to COVID-19.
- He was also able to update the status of the New Zealanders originally onboard the Westerdam cruise ship - all 13 New Zealanders have been spoken to by Healthline now and the 8 who came back to New Zealand yesterday are all in self isolation and are currently not showing any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Dr Bloomfield addressed some concerns in media today around COVID-19 and it’s potential to impact New Zealand at the same time as this year’s influenza season.
- He stressed the importance of people vaccinating against influenza when this year's vaccine becomes available.
- Today's focus was around the return of a group of six New Zealanders from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
- He said the more people who are vaccinated for influenza, the fewer people will be presenting to hospital.