New Zealand now has specialist equipment to test for the deadly coronavirus.
It means results from suspected cases can be examined locally and results will be known within a day.
The scientists in the ESR lab will be the first to know if coronavirus arrives in the country.
"We will be running tests every day and we anticipate having those results within 24 hours," said ESR Health and Environment General Manager Dr Libby Harrison.
The team has a specially designed testing kit from Germany which amplifies the virus's genetic material, so it's easy to identify.
"We take respiratory samples so they might be swabs from the nasal passage or throat, or if someone coughs up some sputum," said Harrison.
While there is only one suspected case here so far, ESR is currently examining two different respiratory samples
Around the world, almost 10,000 people have been infected. Most of those are in China, but the impacts have been far-reaching.
Dougie Aldred is among the many Kiwis facing uncertainty and financial loss as a result of this international crisis.
His wife and 14-year-old daughter, Cathy, arrived home from China on Thursday night.
They've both been told by their family doctor to stay home, and Cathy will miss the start of her school term.
Aldred wasn't in China with his family, but his family's trip has impacted his work as a painter.
His doctor advised him to stick to small outside jobs only, so he's not interacting with large groups of people.
As a result, he's had to pull out of a 12-week contract at a busy inner-city hotel.
"The advice from the doctor because my partner and daughter were in China, advised me not to take that contract and to wait two weeks," he told Newshub.
While he's lost thousands on the hotel job - he says it was the right thing to do and he's urging others in a similar predicament to do the same.
"Go and see doctor, get medical advice and just protect yourself and others."