Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


MoH Keeps Watch As Sars Cases Continue Overseas

Ministry Keeps Watch As Sars Cases Continue Overseas

THE Ministry of Health is continuing its vigilance against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, as the number of cases overseas continues to increase.

Director of Public Health, Dr Colin Tukuitonga said while no cases had been reported in New Zealand, the risk that a traveller could bring the syndrome into the country remained a significant threat.

The latest World Health Organisation update on March 27 reported 1408 cases, and 53 deaths. This was up from 1323 cases and 49 deaths reported as of March 26.

"It is extremely concerning to see the number of cases continue to climb, and we remain on high alert in New Zealand. The Ministry had a telephone conference this morning with representatives from the World Health Organization, Communicable Disease Network of Australia, National Pandemic Planning Committee, Medical Officers of Health, and viral illness expert networks.

"This review of the situation overseas and in New Zealand confirmed that our approach at this stage is appropriate. We will review it again on Monday morning, unless a development occurs over the weekend to bring that reanalysis forward."

Dr Tukuitonga said the World Health Organization was now recommending that airport authorities in infected countries screen all departing passengers. WHO has recommended that the authorities should ask the following questions: · Whether passengers had had contact with severe acute respiratory syndrome · Whether passengers had any of the symptoms, including a high fever and dry cough · Whether any family member had had contact with the disease.

"This enhanced screening of departing passengers from infected countries should help protect our country from the disease. However, we cannot and are not relying on this. Airlines travelling to New Zealand will continue to be vigilant for signs of the symptoms, and we are updating and increasing the amount of information available to the public.

"Airports are being sent more posters and pamphlets to give to all arriving international passengers. Posters will also be distributed next week to other public places likely to be frequented by overseas visitors," Dr Tukuitonga said.

"I would like to stress that there is no need for the New Zealand public to be alarmed. However, we do need to be alert," he said.

The SARS webpage (www.moh.govt.nz/sars) and freephone 0800 0800 80 will continue to provide the latest information to New Zealanders seeking advice.

Overseas updates include:

Hong Kong ? About 100 schools are now closed.

Philippines ? Travellers from affected areas are being voluntarily quarantined for one week

Canada ? Ontario has declared a health emergency and some schools have been closed.

Singapore ? Reported cases and close contacts are being home quarantined, affecting 840 people.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election