Coronavirus: Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt tests positive for COVID-19

Coronavirus: Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt tests positive for COVID-19
Photo credit: Human Rights Commission

The Chief Human Rights Commissioner has tested positive for coronavirus.

Paul Hunt landed back in New Zealand after a business trip to London, UK and Geneva, Switzerland on March 15. Upon his arrival, he immediately self-isolated.

However, after coming down with COVID-19 symptoms last week, he was tested for the virus and a positive result came back on Wednesday afternoon.

"Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, I enjoyed the human right to medical care," Professor Hunt said.

"But I also had a duty to the community to self-isolate, take the swab-test and now studiously follow the advice of the health professionals. Others have the same duty."

"I report on my health-status because there is nothing to hide. There is no stigma. I work from home. I feel solidarity with past, present and future patients."

Prof Hunt is now recovering from coronavirus at his home in Wellington.

He says the Human Rights Commission will "keep as close as possible to all our communities, especially the most disadvantaged".

"The Commission is also ready to help the Government ensure its response to COVID-19 is fair and benefits from the insights provided by the country's national and international human rights commitments," he continued.

"After the Government's initial positive response comes the need to ensure fair, equitable, effective, sustained, practical implementation over the long haul."

On Wednesday afternoon, the Ministry of Health revealed there had been 50 new positive coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, bringing New Zealand's total to 205.