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Napier mayor urges calm in the face of COVID-19

Portrait Mayor Kirsten Wise Oct 2019 10

Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise is urging residents to stay calm in the wake of the news a cruise ship that docked in Napier had four people on board test positive for COVID-19.  

The Ruby Princess docked in Napier last Sunday, 15 March and had around 2700 passengers and 1100 crew on board, 56 of whom were New Zealanders. Three Australian passengers and one crew member have tested positive for the virus.  

“The Ministry of Health is in the process of contacting the 56 New Zealanders who were on board the ship,” Ms Wise said.  

“If you believe you may have come into contact with passengers from the ship and you are concerned, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997 (8am–1am, seven days a week). 

“If you have symptoms of COVID-19, phone Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your GP and they’ll assess whether you need to be tested.” 

Ms Wise said people were unlikely to have caught the virus off a passenger if they were not showing any symptoms of COVID-19. “And even if you came into contact with people who were symptomatic, I understand from current health advice that you are unlikely to have caught the virus unless you were within one metre of that person for more than 15 minutes,” Ms Wise said. 

Ms Wise said everyone could play a role in uniting against COVID-19.  “I know this is a worrying time for many people in our community, particularly those working in frontline roles – but the best thing we can all do is follow expert advice. 

“Wash and dry your hands thoroughly, stay home if you are ill, maintain a physical distance of two metres, and be kind to one another.

“Remember that a range of organisations have been preparing for this situation. 

“We are all stepping up to make our communities’ journey through COVID-19 as smooth as possible.” 

Ms Wise urged people to continue to follow advice from the Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies. 

“The goal is to stop these isolated cases around the country becoming widespread community outbreaks. 

“It’s more important than ever that we continue to look out for each other and check in on friends and family.” 

For more information, visit https://covid19.govt.nz 

21 March 2020

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