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.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

PM's Presser: ‘Precarious’ Solid Energy In Banks’ Hands

Liquidation of state-owned coal company Solid Energy “cannot be ruled out” but is “not the number one preferred option of the government,” says Prime Minister John Key, who confirmed the beleaguered company was discussed today at Cabinet as its banking syndicate grapples with its commercially dire prospects. More>>

ALSO:

Missed Opportunities: Amnesty International Report Card On NZ's UN Role

As New Zealand steps down from its month as President of the Council, Amnesty International has taken the opportunity to review New Zealand’s role on the Council so far and assess their performance and contribution to protecting human rights worldwide. More>>

ALSO:

Prince Charles Get More Jobs: PM Announces Honorary Military Appointments

PM John Key has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of HRH The Prince of Wales to three honorary positions: Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy; Field Marshal, New Zealand Army; Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. More>>

ALSO:

No TPP Deal: Gordon Campbell On Why We Should Still Oppose Investor-State Dispute Measures

Even in this dark hour for the TPP, the secrecy farce continues... What is left to hide? Every single negotiator went into those talks in Maui knowing exactly where everyone else stood. More>>

REACTION:

Salvation Army On Homelessness: Hard Times In West Auckland

The report details an uncomfortable story of people whose only option is to live an unhealthy, dangerous and damaging street life... The social housing needed by these people is not currently available in sufficient quantity. More social housing is required in the West. More>>

ALSO:

Message For PM: NZ Supports Te Reo Māori – You Should Too

As Māori Language Week celebrations and commemoration of 40 years draws to an end, the Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, is once again hugely encouraged by the widespread support for Māori language from throughout the country ... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news