Coronavirus: Health Minister David Clark blasts man who allegedly spat on police officers claiming he had COVID-19

The Minister of Health says it is disgusting to hear that a man allegedly spat on police officers in Auckland while claiming to have COVID-19.

Police were arresting the man in Silverdale on Tuesday when he lashed out at officers as they were putting him in their car, spitting on three of them while claiming he had COVID-19.

The 30-year-old is currently being tested for the virus and could face severe prison time if he is found to be infected.

Health Minister Dr David Clark says such behaviour is unacceptable. 

"I think that's disgusting," Dr Clark told The AM Show on Wednesday. "I absolutely find that disgusting - I really hope that the police are able to prosecute that case. I just don't think that's acceptable at all and I don't think any New Zealander would think that's acceptable."

All three officers have been placed in isolation following the incident and two police cars were being decontaminated, police said.

Superintendent Naila Hassan, Waitematā District Commander, said on Tuesday that the incident was "appalling". 

"We take this matter extremely seriously and we will not tolerate anyone who thinks it's acceptable to spit at our staff."

The man was charged with offences including assault with intent to injure and resisting police. 

The penalty for knowingly infecting someone with disease is 14 years' imprisonment in New Zealand.