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Media Update COVID-19, February 15

There continues to be no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

This afternoon, the Government announced that temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position will be reviewed every 48 hours.

New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family returning to New Zealand will continue to be able to enter, but are being told to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.

Globally, the World Health Organization reports there are just over 49,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with only three of 1381 confirmed deaths occurring outside mainland China.

In New Zealand, self-isolation registrations with Healthline continue to grow. A further 341 registrations for self-isolation were made yesterday and as at midnight 14 February just under 4000 people (3998) had registered since the register went live at 5pm on Friday 7 February.

Healthline's dedicated COVID-19 number, 0800 358 5453, is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Ministry is encouraging anyone who has not yet registered as a result of their travel to China, to do so. This will help ensure we can regularly check on people’s welfare and wellbeing while they are in self-isolation, while supporting New Zealand’s overall response to novel coronavirus.

We also want to acknowledge and thank the thousands of people who have responded so positively to the self-isolation process.

Keeping individuals, families and our communities safe and healthy in the current global environment requires a team effort and that's what we're seeing across New Zealand.

A reminder that COVID-19 is spread by people coughing or sneezing, close personal contact and coming into contact with an object or surface with viral particles on it (then touching your mouth, nose or eyes).

So practicing good hygiene, regularly washing your hands, and practicing good cough etiquette (maintaining distance, covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing and washing hands) is really important in keeping yourself and the community safe.

There's more information here:

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.govt.nz/coronavirus

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