Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Ensuring New Zealand is prepared for Ebola

Ensuring New Zealand is prepared for Ebola

Public health officers are being given additional powers to hold aeroplanes and ships at the border if there is a sufficient concern that a person on board is infected with the Ebola virus, says Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew.

“The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the worst outbreak of this disease on record, leading to the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“Although the risk of Ebola reaching New Zealand is extremely low, it is an appropriate time to review preparedness for this potential public health threat, including legislative arrangements.

“WHO has also advised all countries to take precautions to prevent and minimise the potential risk to public health.”

Viral haemorrhagic fevers, such as Ebola, are already listed as ‘notifiable diseases’ under the Health Act, meaning that medical practitioners must report suspected or confirmed cases.

Cabinet has decided that ‘viral haemorrhagic fevers capable of being transmitted between human beings’ will now also be listed as a quarantinable infectious disease.

The quarantine provisions require public health officers to clear all aeroplanes and ships entering New Zealand before people can disembark. Such health clearance is usually routine, but captains or masters of craft must inform border health officials of any sickness on board. This enables public health officers to investigate and manage any cases of illness on board.

The Ministry of Health is already working closely with health and border agencies to ensure appropriate preparedness and screening for Ebola.

“Cabinet’s decision, which is expected to come into force by the end of the month is a further precautionary measure to reduce the threat of this potentially significant disease to the New Zealand public,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“The Health (Protection) Amendment Bill I recently introduced to Parliament would provide another layer of protection to the public of New Zealand by empowering health authorities with enhanced tools to manage people with infectious diseases.”

Regular updates for the public on Ebola are being provided on the Ministry of Health website, www.health.govt.nz.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news