News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Keeping New Zealand safe from SARS


Keeping New Zealand safe from SARS

PEOPLE arriving in New Zealand will be required to provide details on their travel history and health from late May as health and border control authorities step up their SARS preparedness.

"It's becoming increasingly clear that our best chance of protecting New Zealanders from SARS lies in keeping it out," SARS Clinical Director Dr Douglas Lush said.

"By the end of the month we will have in place a series of measures which collectively help us to do that."

The new move sees the standard arrival card replaced by an updated version incorporating a statutory health declaration. Incoming passengers on all international flights will have to answer questions about their travel history and health which flag their risk of SARS.

"New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to implement a statutory declaration scheme for SARS in this way," John Secker, New Zealand Customs Service's National Manager, Air and Marine said today.

"It's taken a lot of work to get here but we're committed to increasing our vigilance and hence our ability to protect New Zealanders from this illness."

Poster size translations in a number of languages will be displayed in the arrival hall at Auckland International Airport - arrival point for 70 per cent of international visitors. At other airports Customs staff will have translations on hand.

Passengers whose declaration suggests they could be at risk of developing SARS will be detected at the immigration desk and will then be taken by a Customs official to the nursing station. There a Registered Nurse will ask further questions and assess their level of risk.

The nurse will then direct the passenger back to complete normal entry procedures or, in the unlikely event she thinks they could develop SARS, isolate them and arrange transfer to hospital.

"Bear in mind that it is most unlikely that either the border control staff or the nurses will be seeing seriously ill passengers," Dr Lush said.

"This is because of measures already in place: airports in the worst-affected countries screen for SARS exposure and symptoms and prevent these people departing, plus we already have in place a protocol by which captains radio ahead if they have a seriously ill passenger on board, and that triggers processes to get them to hospital."

Dr Lush said introducing the new arrival cards had been a huge exercise in logistics involving the NZ Customs Service, the NZ Immigration Service, all international airlines flying into New Zealand and airport authorities as well as the health sector.

"I must commend the commitment and co-operation of all these agencies. While protecting the health of New Zealanders is arguably not their primary responsibility they have all been prepared to work with us towards this end. All New Zealanders should feel grateful for their efforts."

Passengers can expect the new arrival cards to be distributed from midweek next week.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>

ALSO:

Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Salt River Songs by Sam Hunt

Colin Hogg, a longtime comrade of Sam, writes in his Introduction that, ‘There is a lot of death in this collection of new poems by my friend Sam Hunt. It’s easier to count the poems here that don’t deal with the great destroyer than it is to point to the ones that do.’ More>>

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news