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Dr Bloomfield urges anyone with cold or flu symptoms to get Covid-19 test

Kiwis are being urged not to become complacent with Covid-19, despite it being 96 days since the last local case of the virus in New Zealand. 

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The Director-General of Health is encouraging anyone with symptoms to still get tested. Source: Breakfast

Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health is encouraging anyone with cold or flu symptoms to get tested for the coronavirus.

He told TVNZ1's Breakfast testing is imperative to ensure there is no community transmission in New Zealand.

"I can understand why some people are choosing not to be tested. There’s a dissonance between the message that, on the one hand there’s no evidence of community transmission, but we want you to be tested anyway," Dr Bloomfield said.

"The important thing here is we will only know if there is a case out there if we do test people so our aim is that everybody who has symptoms that could be Covid-19 related gets a test."

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"We’re looking just to check it's not in there in the community. That was because of the chap who flew to South korea who had been in Queenstown," Dr Bloomfield said. 

"Big shout out to the people of Queenstown yesterday. That's what we want to see."

The World Health Organisation has said there is "no silver bullet" to Covid-19, but Dr Bloomfield says New Zealand has "got things right at the moment".

"The reason we are doing this testing is that if we find it as soon as possible, if it's in the community and get on top of it, then we will avoid a situation like Victoria and we want to be avoiding that, I think everyone’s on the kaupapa with that.

He says he is "encouraging" anyone with cold or flu symptoms to be tested.

"Just as I’m encouraging GPs and others doing the tests to not just offer but to really support and encourage people to have the test."

There are 22 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, all of which are in managed isolation or quarantine. No one is in hospital with the virus.