Ministry of Health says border screenings won't stop coronavirus

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jan 2020, 5:54PM
China reported Monday a sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new coronavirus. (Photo / AP)

Ministry of Health says border screenings won't stop coronavirus

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jan 2020, 5:54PM

Travellers are being advised to call Healthline if they fall sick in New Zealand.

Fears are growing about a Sars-like illness originating in Wuhan in China - that's infected more than 200 people - and killed four.

The head of a Chinese government expert team said Monday that human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in an outbreak of a new coronavirus, a development that raises the possibility that it could spread more quickly and widely.

Team leader Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory expert, said two people in Guangdong province in southern China caught the virus from family members, state media said. Some medical workers have also tested positive for the virus, the English-language China Daily newspaper reported.

"The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan and other places must be taken seriously," President Xi Jinping said in his first public statement on the crisis. "Party committees, governments and relevant departments at all levels should put people's lives and health first."

Australia's introduced passenger screening on high-risk direct flights from China - and a Brisbane man is reportedly in isolation with symptoms of the virus.

Locally, the Ministry of Health's Dr Caroline McElnay told Andrew Dickens it's hard to tackle - as medical professionals haven't dealt with it before.

"This particular virus, its new and more information is evolving as we go from day to day."

She says that currently, the World Health Organisation doesn't support screening, as there's little evidence that it's effective.

"The border checks that we have in place is information that's provided to travellers, alerting them to the fact if they are ill or develop sickness while in New Zealand to alert Healthline."

 

 

 

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