Coronavirus outbreak: Chinese tourists on the same flight as person with deadly illness arrive in NZ

A group of Chinese tourists who were on the same flight as a person with the deadly coronavirus have arrived in New Zealand.

There are now more than 2000 cases and at least 56 deaths from the virus, which emerged from the Chinese city Wuhan. 

Health Minister David Clark confirmed to The AM Show on Monday some passengers had travelled to Australia along with an infected person before coming to New Zealand.

People arriving in New Zealand from China will now be screened as the spread of the virus shows no sign of slowing down.

Clark says the situation is being closely watched, adding those tourists who arrived in the country have been checked by St John staff for symptoms.

"The vast majority were clear," he told The AM Show on Monday. "Those that had minor snivels have been monitored and are going to continue to be monitored by St John.

"My understanding is that they'd voluntarily kept to themselves and also that they're being monitored by health professionals - we think it's very unlikely that they have this condition at all."

Clark said it had been a rapidly-evolving situation.

"We are still finding out more about the virus as it goes on," he said.

"We're moving in step with what the clinical experts tell us.

Health Minister David Clark.
Health Minister David Clark. Photo credit: The AM Show

"All of the time we have different things arriving in New Zealand and we're taking the steps that the medical experts tell us are the right things to do."

As a fifth case of the virus has appeared across the ditch, Australia correspondent Jason Morrison told The AM Show it's likely more will emerge.