Coronavirus: Doctor urges Government to 'act now' and close borders

A doctor from Wellington believes the Government must completely close the borders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Saturday announced tough new border measures to prevent the coronavirus outbreak establishing itself in New Zealand but urgent care physician Dr Kelvin Ward believes that move doesn't go far enough.

Dr Ward told NZME borders should be shut to anyone other than Kiwis arriving home from overseas.

"We need to act now before the situation is out of control.

"What has happened overseas is they have reacted too late and haven't been able to contain the situation once the growth has become exponential," he told NZME.

Dr Ward's comments echo those of public health expert Professor Michael Baker, who earlier this week said the Government needed to do more.

"We need to look at school closures now and also even look at public transport," said Prof Baker, of Otago University's department of public health.

Twenty-eight cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in New Zealand so far. 

Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told The Rock's Morning Rumble the vast majority of people entering the country are now New Zealanders.

"People do need to be prepared. Prepare to work from home, prepare to stop non-essential travel."