Two University of Otago scientists are calling for an "urgent review" of how New Zealand is protecting itself from coronavirus.
Professors Nick Wilson and Michael Baker wrote an article published yesterday on Sciblogs, saying the country needs to introduce a "pandemic plan" to protect against the "highly uncertain" virus.
"Now is the time for maximum proactivity. There is still time to upgrade the weaker aspects of the response and to maximise the chance of protecting the population," they wrote.
The researchers said the Government's response so far is lacking in several areas and needs to be reviewed to ensure people are kept safe.
They also criticised New Zealand's 14-day "self-isolation" requirement for travellers returning from coronavirus-affected areas, saying quarantine supervision "may need to be markedly increased".
"The nature of this quarantine...needs urgent review, monitoring and evaluation to ensure it is adequate to minimise the risk of disease transmission."
New Zealand continues to allow citizens, permanent residents and immediate family back into the country after they have travelled to areas where coronavirus is still being actively transmitted.
The Department of Public Health professors said border controls also need to be reviewed to further limit the range of people allowed entry to New Zealand.
The coronavirus has now claimed more than 1000 lives with 42,638 cases confirmed worldwide.