Whangaparāoa Reception Centre staff supporting New Zealanders in quarantine

News article

21 February 2020

Health professionals have been on site at the Whangaparāoa Reception Centre today as the group of six New Zealanders get settled in there.

The New Zealanders, who were originally passengers onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, arrived at the centre late last night, after travelling from Japan, via a stop off in Darwin.

They will be at the centre for their 14-day quarantine period.

The Ministry’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says this is a smaller operation than the original group from Wuhan, but the focus remains exactly the same.

"Our primary focus is ensuring these people feel as comfortable as possible during their time at the centre and that they remain health and feel as supported as possible."

"The staffing at the centre will change to respond to the needs of the guests at the time. At all times a centre manager is on site. For example, during the first night, a Registered Nurse was on site and available to people, along with an additional Ministry of Health staffer and support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"On an ongoing basis at a minimum, in addition to the WRC Manager, a Registered Nurse is also on site each day to complete health checks. As required, other support people including caterers and cleaners will be on site," says Dr Bloomfield.

"As time goes on, people will still need daily health checks but they may also need more support from the likes of Red Cross

"It's important staff at the centre know how crucial their work is in ensuring the health and wellbeing of the group of six.

"It's also important that we make sure staff feel supported - we are taking ongoing advice from infectious diseases and infection control specialists, and we've had other healthcare staff onsite to train centre staff and centre guests on all infection prevention and control measures.