Thursday January 30, 2020
On 28 January 2020, the National Health Coordination Centre was activated to respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak. While there have been no confirmed cases in New Zealand, there have been a small number of suspected cases notified. The Ministry of Health is updating its website with general advice for the public every day at 1200hrs.
Notification of novel coronavirus
On 30 January novel coronavirus capable of causing severe respiratory illness became a notifiable infectious disease under the Health Act 1956.
For clarity, any suspected cases that are identified in primary care or any healthcare setting should be immediately notified by telephone to the local Medical Officer of Health. They will then inform the NHCC.
The normal procedure for notifying notifiable diseases into EpiSurv should be followed using the generic case report form, until further advised. This should be done with two hours of notifying the Medical Officer of Health, as the NHCC will be using EpiSurv as the "single source of truth" for reporting.
Use of personal protective equipment
The Ministry of Health has been receiving queries regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in community settings, and for frontline workers who interact with the public.The below is a summary of advice from the Ministry of Health, and advice on the use of masks from the World Health Organization.
Information for health professionals is being updated and will be available on the Ministry of Health website, including specific information for primary care providers.
WHO Emergency Committee convened
The WHO have called a second emergency meeting of the Emergency Committee to revise the advice provided on the global response to novel coronavirus.
They are due to convene again at 0130hrs 31/01/2020 NZT, and report back at 0730hrs 31/01/2020 NZT. There will be further communications sent to detail New Zealand's response to any change in WHO advice.