Recently, an outbreak of a new coronavirus disease now called COVID-19 was identified (sometimes called novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV).

Coronaviruses are a large and diverse family of viruses which cause illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

New Zealand is prepared and ready to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak should it occur here.

The risk of an ongoing outbreak is low-moderate, but we are monitoring the situation closely.

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