Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have health-related concerns about novel coronavirus (COVID-19), contact your GP or free phone the dedicated Healthline number: 0800 358 5453. This 24/7 line is staffed by nurses, paramedics and health advisors. Interpreters are available. Information and advice is also available from the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 websites: and Ring ahead before visiting a medical clinic or emergency department – don’t just turn up.

People who have been face-to-face with someone who has COVID-19 are most at risk and need to call 0800 358 5453 if they have one or more of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, loss of smell, or the signs of a head cold (runny nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip).

The virus can cause acute respiratory infection ranging from mild to severe. Most of the infected people have had mild to moderate illness.


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Symptoms of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are similar to a range of other respiratory illnesses such as influenza and do not necessarily mean that you have novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of smell
  • Signs of a head cold (runny nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip)

It is important to adhere to the national alert level that currently applies in New Zealand.

New Zealand is now at Alert Level 2. This took effect at 11.59pm on Wednesday 13 May. Read more about the alert levels, what they mean and what actions you need to take here. The government will next announce any change to alert levels on May 25.

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