How New Zealand's first coronavirus case unfolded

Health Minister David Clark.
Health Minister David Clark. Photo credit: File

The family and health professions involved in New Zealand's first coronavirus case followed all the correct steps, said Health Minister David Clark at a press conference on Friday in Wellington. 

New Zealand has become the 48th country to identify a confirmed case of coronavirus. 

"I'm confident that the risk of this disease is being very well managed," said Clark. 

Here is how the first confirmed case in New Zealand unfolded: 

On Wednesday 26 February, the person was travelling back from Tehran, Iran.

The last leg of the flight was from Bali, on Emirates flight EK450 arriving in Auckland. 

The person arrived in Auckland on February 26. 

Upon arrival, the person travelled back to his home in a private car. 

The person is in their 60s and is a citizen of New Zealand.

Later on in the day, the family became concerned about their condition and contacted the Healthline.

"They followed all of the steps that you would hope would be followed," Clark said.

They were then referred to the emergency department where everyone was aware to take the appropriate precautions. 

"The negative pressure room has been used, all of the protocols have been followed that have been put in place," said Clark.

This person tested negative to the virus, on two different occasions. But the clinical judgement was to continue and look in greater detail. 

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

The person with the Covid -19 is being treated in Auckland city hospital. 

Earlier today, the director-general indicated New Zealand had a suspected case of the deadly virus.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the case just before 5:30 pm Friday. 

"The person is in a condition that is improving," Clark said at the press conference.

"With their improving condition and isolation, it shows it is being managed well along the way," said Clark. 

"The assessments of health professionals are that sporadic cases may continue to arrive in New Zealand. We have been managing the situation well in my view," said Clark.

"It is likely from time to time we may get further cases, but there's very unlikely we will get a sustained emergency outbreak if people take the necessary precautions." 

The Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield is telling people who have been in Iran to self-isolate for 14 days, and to register with the health line.