Health officials say there are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Zealand

"There are currently no suspected cases. To date, around 120 tests have been carried out and all of these have returned negative," director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

Bloomfield said the continuation of the imposed travel restrictions for a further eight days was part of the Government's precautionary measures in the current "keep it out" phase.

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"Those measures are being reviewed every 48 hours on an ongoing basis.

Bloomfield emphasised the travel ban was a precautionary measure as part of the ongoing response to Covid-19.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield. Photo / NZME
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield. Photo / NZME

He said the global spread of the virus showed it was a rapidly evolving situation.

"You will be familiar with the numbers I'm sure, in particular, the big increase in the number of cases in South Korea as well as in Northern Italy and the quite stringent measures that have been put in place in both of those jurisdictions."

"In light of those numbers, the Government has asked for advice from the technical advisory group, who were discussing whether the increase in cases in South Korea and Northern Italy should influence New Zealand's approach. The group is set to meet on Thursday morning, with the Government to review its case definition of Covid-19 on the back of that advice.

"We're looking at our broader measures every 48 hours as part of our ongoing review of
the six people evacuated from the Diamond Princess who are now in quarantine at the Whangaparaoa military base [and] were all well and continuing their daily health checks, Bloomfield said.

World Health Organisation says it’s still to early to call coronavirus a pandemic at a news conference in Geneva. Video / AP

A pandemic has not yet been declared by the World Health Organisation, but if one was declared, Bloomfield said hospitals would be "ready to go".

Dr Caroline Maclemaine said the Health Ministry had a ready supply of clinical equipment ready to be deployed as required.


"This supply is part of our general preparation for a pandemic and is constantly kept up to date."

The equipment included masks, aprons, gloves, eye protection and other clinical equipment such as syringes and IV fluids.

"Our technical advisory group are keeping up with emerging evidence and the implications for this particular virus, as to what supplies would actually be required."