Last month, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus, coronavirus, which belongs to a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS.
The Government has declared coronavirus a notifiable disease, which gives officials powers to quarantine infected people if required.
Local schools notified returning students of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education guidelines – including advising students and staff who recently travelled to China to stay away from school for the virus’ incubation period of 14 days.
If a student attends school while showing symptoms the Principal can preclude them if they believe they may have a communicable disease.
Some schools are also providing bacterial wipes and hand sanitiser. As Hibiscus Matters goes to print there are no confirmed cases in New Zealand.
More information about the virus and advice for travellers can be found on the Ministry of Health website. If you have a concern about your child, contact Healthline at 0800 611 116 or your GP.
Healthline has translators and Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff available.