- Publish Date
- Thursday, 19 March 2020, 2:52PM
There are eight new cases of covid-19 in New Zealand, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says.
The total number of cases is now 28. The new cases today all relate to overseas travel.
There is still no evidence of community transmission in New Zealand, Bloomfield says.
The Ministry of Health is working to identify any close contacts.
Two of the cases are in Southland, two in Taranaki, one in Rotorua, one in Northland and two in Auckland.
None of the new eight cases are school students.
"We are obviously alert to all the new cases and identifying any close contacts," Bloomfield says.
The Ministry of Health is contacting up to 1000 close contacts of the 28 confirmed cases.
Healthline will be provided with the details for the people considered close contacts from being on the flights with the new eight cases.
Bloomfield said he hasn't heard any official word on a full national lockdown, like in Italy.
Meanwhile, Samoan authorities have further tightened travel restrictions after announcing its first suspected case of coronavirus - a person who arrived in the country from New Zealand.
The island nation's Ministry of Health is now advising anyone due to fly to Samoa for whatever reason to cancel their flight.
"Border requirements and restrictions will be more strengthened now at all international ports of entry," a statement said.
"The ministry strongly advises all those intending to travel to Samoa to attend birthdays, weddings, reunions, funerals, conferences, sports etc, to cancel their travel plans and make other arrangements."
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.