New Zealand's number of coronavirus cases rises to eight

Source: 1News

The total number of Covid-19 coronavirus cases in New Zealand now sits at eight, with two new cases confirmed by the Ministry of Health today.

An Australian man in his 60s who's in Wellington has been confirmed as having coronavirus.

He flew from Brisbane while awaiting test results. He arrived in Wellington on Air New Zealand flight NZ828 at 12:05am March 14. 

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says the man is now symptom free but remains in isolation with his partner. 

The other confirmed case today is a 30-year-old woman from Denmark. She arrived in Auckland via Doha on flight QR920 on Tuesday  March 10. She then flew to Christchurch yesterday on Jetstar flight JQ225 before travelling to Queenstown in a private vehicle.

The woman was hospitalised in Queenstown after feeling unwell once arriving in the town. 

Dr Bloomfield says she is recovering well and planning is now underway of her discharge where she will recover in self-isolation and be monitored daily. 

He says the fact that both cases came from countries beyond New Zealand's initial border restrictions reinforces the Government's decision yesterday to introduce stronger regulations. 

"Reducing the flow of these people coming in to new Zealand and ensuring those who do arrive are still required to immediately self-isolate are essential front line tools in our response."

None of the previously confirmed cases are currently still in hospital and are now recovering at home or have recovered. 

These two confirmed cases come after it was this morning confirmed three passengers on board the Golden Princess cruise in Akaroa was being tested for Covid-19 after developing symptoms. Results are expected tomorrow.

Dr Bloomfield confirmed that two of the possible cases have been identified as being in close contact with a confirmed case. 

He says one of those passengers has now developed symptoms and is being treated as a suspected case. 

Canterbury District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink said the public health team was taking a precautionary approach. 

"We realise this is disappointing news for other passengers and tourism/hospitality operators in Akaroa and Canterbury who were expecting to host the passengers today," Mr Pink said, adding that the ship company had been co-operating.

"We cannot risk the potential further spread if this person tests positive."