Parliament

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

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog
More RSS News Alerts