If sick, stay at home, call Healthline for advice

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”Call Heathline” is the message for anyone who suspects they might have coronavirus symptoms, Gore Health quality improvement manager Glenda Maxwell says.

Anyone with symptoms including a fever, cough or shortness of breath should stay at home and ring Healthline on 800358-5453, she said.

“Don’t come to your GP.

“Don’t come to the hospital ring Healthline for advice.”

The telephone number was specially set up to take calls about the virus.

The Government had implemented the national pandemic plan.

“What they are trying to do is keep coronavirus out of New Zealand.”

Travel restrictions were in place for people who had visited China or Iran.

“Anyone who is not a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident or an immediate family member who has been in or transited through China or Iran will not be permitted entry into New Zealand.”

Information about the virus was circling on social media but the Ministry of Health website was the most reliable source of information, she said.

People who had travelled to China, Iran, Italy or South Korea or who had been in close contact with someone with Covid-19 in the past 14 days were being asked to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of departure or close contact.

“They are not to go out into the community for 14 days.”

Good hand-washing, good cough etiquette, which was coughing into the inside of the elbow, and staying away from people who were unwell were things people could do to limit the chance of catching the virus.

Anyone who suspected they had been in contact with someone showing the symptoms should seek advice from Healthline.

Gore Health had procedures in place to deal with anyone who might be admitted with the virus.

“We have full personal protective equipment available for both patients and staff.”

Five people have tested positive with the disease nationwide so far, according to the Ministry of Health website.