Coronavirus: Sixth patient praises NZ's handling of the outbreak

The sixth person to be diagnosed with COVID-19 in New Zealand has reportedly already recovered, and is praising the Government's handling of the crisis.

On Saturday, health officials revealed a man in his 60s who recently arrived from infection hotspot the US had tested positive for the virus on Friday, after feeling unwell earlier in the week.

The chance of dying of COVID-19 is much higher for older generations, but the unnamed patient is "100 percent, back to normal", he told Stuff

"Nothing to worry about there, she's all behind us. Everybody else was worried, not me."

The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he'd been at a dinner in the US with people who'd had contact with friends of a New Jersey man who died of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Many of those present had been coughing.

He wasn't showing symptoms when he arrived in New Zealand last weekend, health officials said on Saturday, but attended a church service on Sunday. Close contacts were being followed up by officials.

After falling sick on Tuesday he went into self-isolation. No other members of his family have shown symptoms.

The 24-hour turnaround from getting tested to having a result he said was far better than what his friend was getting in the US. 

"Pretty sharp here, 24 hours, we had a result, whereas in America five days - the guy's as sick as a dog, he still hasn't got a result," the man told Stuff.

He said battening down the hatches was a good idea, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has done a "good job".

On Saturday, she announced all incoming travellers would have to undergo 14 days of self-isolation, with the only exception being those arriving from the Pacific Islands. Cruise ships have also been told to stay away for a few months. 

So far every case reported in New Zealand has been in someone who arrived from overseas.

As of Sunday morning, there had been 153,500 confirmed infections worldwide, with many more suspected due to a lack of testing facilities and under-reporting from officials in countries like Iran. Nearly 5800 have died.