An Auckland resident was shocked to watch St John staff donning hazmat suits escort a family out of their home on his street.

Three people were put into the back of an ambulance and driven away from their Fairview Heights, near Albany in north Auckland, home around 10.15am.

All three people from the house were wearing face masks and the St John staff were carrying black bags from the property, witness Peter van den Berg said.

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Asked about the incident, a St John spokeswoman confirmed a patient was taken to Auckland Hospital in a serious condition this morning.

However, the case did not meet the definition for coronavirus (Covid-19), a Ministry of Health spokesperson told the Herald.

The spokesperson reiterated there were no confirmed or suspected cases of the virus in New Zealand.

Three people were escorted from the property, a witness said. Photo / Peter van den Berg
Three people were escorted from the property, a witness said. Photo / Peter van den Berg

Speaking to the Herald earlier today, van den Berg said he was concerned to see the incident unfold on his street amid the outbreak overseas.

"I'm really concerned, as everyone else should," he said. "This sort of thing is not sensationalising, people are dying.

"The first person that got escorted into the back of the ambulance was shielded so no one could see but you knew what was going on.

"The second person to come along was a little bit slow so she needed to be helped. Then there was a child with a mask, wearing a backpack."

Elsewhere, travel restrictions from China were extended for a further eight days today to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.


The restrictions would prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China and entering New Zealand.

However, New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and immediate family members would be allowed to enter.

All those entering the country were being told to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return, Health Minister David Clark said.

"New Zealand has not yet had a confirmed case of Covid-19 but this continues to be an evolving situation," he said.

"The health advice remains consistent – we must take a precautionary approach, and that is why the travel restrictions will continue in the short term."

The restriction would be reviewed every 48 hours.


Since virus broke out last year, more than 67,000 cases had been worldwide and more than 1500 had died, AP reported.

Coronavirus figures as of Saturday in Beijing, according to AP:

• Mainland China: 1523 deaths among 66,492 cases, mostly in the central province of Hubei.

• Hong Kong: 56 cases, 1 death

• Macao: 10

• Japan: 259, including 218 from a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, 1 death

• Singapore: 67


• Thailand: 33

• South Korea: 28

• Malaysia: 19

• Taiwan: 18

• Vietnam: 16

• Germany: 16


• United States: 15. Separately, one US citizen died in China

• Australia: 14

• France: 11

• United Kingdom: 9

• United Arab Emirates: 8

• Canada: 8


• Philippines: 3 cases, 1 death

• India: 3

• Italy: 3

• Russia: 2

• Spain: 2

• Belgium: 1


• Nepal: 1

• Sri Lanka: 1

• Sweden: 1

• Cambodia: 1

• Finland: 1

• Egypt: 1