Second coronavirus case confirmed in New Zealand

A woman in her 30s has been confirmed as New Zealand's second case of COVID-19 after she travelled to Auckland from northern Italy, where the virus is now widespread. 

The woman has been in self-isolation in her home, the Ministry of Health said, and the process has begun to contact people on the flight she took from Singapore to Auckland. 

She had been in northern Italy, where the coronavirus has spread rapily, with 79 deaths confirmed so far, and more than 2000 confirmed cases. 

At this stage, the woman does not require hospital level care, and the World Health Organisation has pointed out that self-isolation at home is an appropriate response for those who display mild to moderate symptoms. 

The woman's partner is also displaying signs of the virus and is being tested. 

The infected woman has children who attend Westlake Boys and Westlake Girls High in Auckland, and both of the schools have been contacted and are on alert.

The children who attend those two schools are not showing symptoms, however, and are now at home and in isolation. They did not travel to Italy, are both well and are being monitored. 

The Ministries of Education and Health will work together to provide the schools with appropriate advice and support. 

Even though New Zealand has a second case of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health is confident that with "continued vigilance" the chance of widespread community outbreak is "expected to remain low".

The first case was confirmed on Friday last week. That individual was a New Zealand citizen who had returned to the country from Iran, via Bali. They are currently in a stable condition, according to officials. 

Watch the Ministry of Health's announcement below

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that, on top of a temporary travel ban on China and Iran, travellers to New Zealand from South Korea and northern Italy will have to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. 

Public health officials have been tracing where the infected Kiwi woman went to help keep the virus contained in New Zealand, with contact being made to everyone on the Air New Zealand flight she took to provide relevant information. 

The flight she took was last Tuesday, on 25 February. She also took two domestic flights on Monday, 2 March - NZ5013 Auckland to Palmerston North and NZ8114 Palmerston North to Auckland. 

The Ministry of Health is reminding the public to get in touch with Healthline on 0800 358 5453. Anyone who was on the Air New Zealand flight and is concerned should contact the number.

People in close contact are considered to be those who were in the same row of seats, the two rows in front and the two rows behind the infected person. 

Officials are also contacting the two medical centres where the woman sought advice and treatment to determine if there is any risk to staff or other people who may have been there at that time.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Wednesday the affected family need the country's "support and understanding".

He said it is the ministry's task to "ensure they have all the support and health care they need".