Coronavirus case confirmed in New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern has confirmed New Zealand has its first case of the coronavirus COVID-19.

The infected individual is in their 60s and is in Auckland Hospital in a stable condition.

They are a New Zealand citizen who returned to the country from Iran via Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday.

In a statement today the Ministry of Health said the tests were formally reported around 4:15pm.

They also confirmed the chance of a community outbreak remains low.    

"Household contacts are in isolation as a precautionary measure. Public health officials have begun tracing the patient’s other close contacts to ensure appropriate protection measures are in place, including on the flight involved which originated in Tehran and came via Bali.

"Anyone who was on the final leg of the flight, Emirates EK450 arriving Auckland on Wednesday 26 February, and is concerned should contact the COVID-19 Healthline number 0800 358 5453.

"The person arrived in Auckland on 26 February and travelled home in a private car. Their family became concerned about their condition and called Healthline," the statement said.

Two earlier tests had come back negative for coronavirus before the specific sample proved positive.

The Ministry of Health has begun tracing everyone the patient had previously come in contact with and close family is currently being tested for COVID-19.

The ministry's said there is a high likelihood of sporadic cases of coronavirus throughout New Zealand.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield announced the suspected case at a press conference on Friday.

New Zealand is the 48th country to have a case of coronavirus confirmed.