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Coronavirus: New Zealand PM says patient with coronavirus 'improving'

Travellers wearing face masks exit the arrivals hall at Auckland International Airport

Wellington, NEW ZEALAND — After a traveller infected with coronavirus flew into New Zealand on Wednesday, February 26, from Tehran, Iran via Bali on Emirates flight EK450, New Zealand health officials have contacted 18 passengers seated near a person infected with coronavirus, but not all have responded.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told media on Sunday health officials would be knocking on doors to find the final people seated near the infected passenger.

Ardern said the patient's condition was stable and continued to improve. The patient - in their 60s - is being treated in Auckland City Hospital in a negative pressure room to prevent spread of the disease. Three of their family members are also in self-isolation.

At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, the Ministry of Health's director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there was still only the one case of coronavirus in New Zealand.

In regards to contact tracing the other passengers who were in the two rows behind, the row of, and the row in front of, where the passenger was sitting, Bloomfield said the job was "progressing".

The ministry had revised down the list of people who had sat near the person who were at risk from 20 to 18.

Bloomfield said the ministry was moving to get all airlines to make in-flight announcements on coronavirus, including providing an in-flight card with information. It would be available in a range of languages.

Read more at Stuff New Zealand