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Compassion urged in Wairoa Covid-19 case

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said the person diagnosed with Covid-19 had followed the guidelines and he urged compassion for their plight.
Person self-isolating in Wairoa after positive Covid-19 test

THE first case of Covid-19 in Wairoa was confirmed yesterday on the same day Gisborne's first case was hospitalised.

A Wairoa District Council statement said it was understood the person was tested outside of the town and was self-isolating in the district.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said the person had followed guidelines and he urged compassion for their plight.

“I also urge anybody who is posting on social media to only publish the facts as there is a lot of misinformation out there.

“This alarmist behaviour is only causing more concern and anxiety.

'Time to show love, kindness and compassion'

“This is a time to show love, kindness and compassion to those most in need.

“I understand the person who has tested positive is self-isolating in Wairoa and has followed all the right protocol.

“My heart goes out to this person and their family. I don't want to know who this person is. My only concern is that they are OK.

“The person who tested positive is a victim like the other hundreds of thousands of people in the world.

“This person could be you or one of your loved ones and we wish them the best for their recovery.

“Please do not abuse this person or any other people who test positive. Now is the time for compassion not cruelty.”

Mr Little urged people to stay calm but reminded the community that this positive case was Wairoa's wake-up call.

“This is no longer us looking at the rest of the world, or New Zealand, and thinking we are safe because we live in a small, isolated district.

'The reality is Covid-19 is in Wairoa'

“The reality is Covid-19 is in Wairoa and it will spread unless everyone follows the advice we are continuously being given.

“Stay home, self-isolate and stick to your bubble. People should only travel if they absolutely need to and should always maintain a two-metre physical distance.

“The people in your bubble are the people who you began Alert Level 4 and are in lockdown with. The people you started with should be the people you finish lockdown with, unless of course one of those people develops Covid-19.

“Now is not the time to be a rule-breaker. We know there are people in our district who are not taking this seriously enough and they are putting others at risk.

“Locally the police have already made one arrest of a person who was blatantly ignoring the rules and advice,” said Mr Little.

“If you are aware of people who are not complying with the Level 4 restrictions please report them by going to www.police.govt.nz/105support.”

New Zealand's Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield yesterday told a press conference a case of Covid-19 was being treated at Gisborne Hospital.

He is the same person confirmed by the Ministry of Health on Friday as Gisborne's first Covid-19 case

A Hauora Tairawhiti spokeswoman told The Gisborne Herald there were no new cases of Covid-19 in Tairawhiti.

“The one person diagnosed with Covid-19 in Tairawhiti was admitted to Gisborne Hospital yesterday. He is in complete isolation.

“Staff caring for him are wearing full personal protective equipment, including glasses, and are taking every precaution.”

Gisborne's Covid-19 patient is in a stable condition

The man is in a stable condition.

Hospital staff caring for people have been given advice on how to make sure they do not bring Covid-19 home.

“This includes leaving clothes and work shoes at the front door and having a shower straight away.”

Hauora Tairawhiti Medical Officer of Health Dr Osman Mansoor on Friday said they were following up on everyone the man had been in contact with since his return to Gisborne from the United States but because he had been in self-isolation, the number was low.

“There is no evidence of community spread,” Dr Mansoor said.

The district health board confirmed all close contacts with the man had been followed up.

These included those on his flight from Auckland to Gisborne.

“The contacts on the international flight (United States to Auckland) are the responsibility of the National Close Contact Service (NCCS) to follow up.

“However, in this case, Hauora Tairawhiti Health Protection did follow up all the international contacts except two, which NCCS has been asked to follow up.”

As of Sunday, 164 swab notifications had been received in Tairawhiti since March 13.

Explaining the difference between the incubation period and the period the man was infectious, Dr Mansoor said the incubation period (IP) “is when the virus has infected a person and the virus numbers are growing (incubating) but not yet enough to cause symptoms”.

“The IP can be any duration from one to 14 days, with a median of five days, while half are three to seven days.

“The infectious period is when somebody can spread disease. It seems people are usually most infectious around the time they start showing symptoms, which can start off very mild and for most stay that way.

“The infectious period can start up to two days before the symptoms show, while you have symptoms and until two days after recovery.

“In other words, you can have the virus incubating in you but not show any signs or be infectious. You can be infectious before you start showing signs though most infection is from when you have symptoms.”