Kiwi households should stock up on face masks, soap, hand sanitiser and paracetamol ahead of another Covid-19 outbreak, a high-ranking official says.
Director of public health Dr Caroline McEnlay says while the potentially deadly virus continues around the world, we cannot be complacent.
This week, other health officials including director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Health Minister Chris Hipkins urged Kiwis to be ready for the return of the virus in the community.
There were no new cases of Covid-19 announced yesterday and it had also been 98 days without community transmission the Ministry of Health revealed.
However, University of Otago epidemiologist Sir David Skegg said yesterday it was likely community transmission would return.
It followed calls from Bloomfield and Hipkins earlier in the week for Kiwis to stock-up on face masks, with people to be encouraged to wear them in public at alert level 2.
"Masks are just one component of our strategy – they complement the public health measures we have all become familiar with this year," McEnlay said.
Those practices being good hand hygiene, physical distancing, staying home when sick, managed isolation and quarantine, testing and contact tracing
The ministry's response to the virus worked on the basis we should be prepared for a case of community transmission at any time.
McEnlay reiterated every Kiwi should be prepared for the virus to re-emerge on our shores.
"That means having a household supply of face masks, soap, hand sanitiser and paracetamol would be advised," she said.
"Tracing contacts of cases of Covid-19 as quickly as possible would help stop the virus from spreading in our communities.
"That means now is the time to download and start using the NZ Covid Tracer app, if you haven't already downloaded it."
Kiwis are able to snap up the essentials, many of which sold out over the lockdown, for as little as $40. A pack of 25 disposable face masks from New World costs $19.99 and $28.99 from Pak'nSave. A pack of 50 costs $54.99 at Countdown.
Meanwhile, a 250ml container of Essence Clear hand sanitiser will set you back $5.69 at New World, $5 at Countdown, and $4.99 at Pak'nSave.
As part of their preparedness for any further outbreak, the ministry suggested households add masks to their disaster emergency kits.
Emergency kits enable people to look after each other in the event of a disaster, such as an earthquake, volcanic eruptions, and floods, Civil Defence says online.
People are also encouraged to sit down and plan what they would do following a disaster and to have enough items to last at least three days.
Kits should include torches, a radio, spare batteries, wind and waterproof clothing, first aid kits and essential medicines, blankets, sleeping bags, pet supplies, toilet paper and large rubbish bags for an emergency toilet, face and dust masks.
At least three days' of food should also be stocked, including canned or dried food, food formula and drinks for babies and young children, a gas barbecue to cook on and a can opener, water for washing, cooking and drinking - three litres per person, per day.
Civil Defence has a checklist on their website about how to best prepare for disasters and what essential items should be included in the emergency kit.