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Coronavirus Poses Risk To Pasifika Community

The Pasifika community is being urged to be extra vigilant with proper hygiene practices and to follow any advice from officials following confirmation of New Zealand’s first case of coronavirus, National’s Associate Spokesperson for Pacific Peoples Agnes Loheni says.

“Serious illnesses such as the flu tend to have a worse toll in Māori and Pacific communities, especially if there are other issues such as overcrowded and inadequate housing.

“The recent measles outbreak in south Auckland shows how quickly highly contagious illness can spread so we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to minimise the impact of coronavirus.

“Pasifika people were the worst affected by measles particularly in south Auckland where the hospital struggled under the pressure of a high number of cases. We don’t want to see the same thing happen with coronavirus especially with cold and flu season just around the corner.

“A letter will be sent to church leaders in the area encouraging them to send the message to their parishioners to practice good hygiene and prepare themselves in the event of more cases of coronavirus.

“If we are to keep this illness out of our community we need everyone follow the Ministry of Health guidelines of proper hand washing, avoiding close contact with people with cold or flu-like illness and covering their mouth when coughing.”

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