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Members of Chinese tour group visiting NZ taken to hospital after coronavirus scare

Three members of a Chinese tour group visiting New Zealand were taken to hospital after they showed symptoms of coronavirus. 

The group of 19 landed in Auckland on January 25 from Australia and travelled to Rotorua.

They may have been exposed to someone confirmed with coronavirus on a flight to Sydney on January 20, Lakes District Health Board said in a statement.

The group were assessed by St John paramedics.

Three people were then sent to Rotorua Hospital Emergency Department for further assessment.

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The situation with the coronavirus remains unchanged but another plane from china is just about to land in Auckland with authorities accepting that case in NZ is highly likely. Source: 1 NEWS

"While they were found to have no symptoms that would indicate infection with the virus, a range of tests were taken for processing," the statement read.

The three peope were discharged from Rotorua Hospital last night and were able to re-join their tour group.

Medical staff will be at Christchurch International Airport from today to provide information on coronavirus to passengers going and coming from Mianland China, a Canterbury District Health Board spokesperson said in a statement.

"The increasing spread of the novel coronavirus, including the identification of cases in Australia, meant a public health presence at the airport was required," medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink said in a statement.

Staff will also provide initial assessments of passengers if they feel unwell. 

National Party Health spokesman Michael Woodhouse told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning the Government “really should've acted earlier in putting in place border screening”, but added that “even that isn’t enough, in my view”.

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“I became aware over the weekend that a tour party from China had arrived through New South Wales, having offloaded a passenger with symptoms of the virus," Mr Woodhouse said.

“That raises questions about whether our health authorities know about that and what they’re doing about it; whether they’re talking to accommodation providers, what advice they're giving to schools at the moment.

“They need to show New Zealand that they have a plan, that they’re following a plan and that they’re communicating it clearly to provide reassurance to Kiwis, and I’m not seeing any of that.”

At least 56 people have died and nearly 2000 confirmed cases have been reported in China, according to the National Health Commission.

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Symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, and trouble breathing and can show from two to 14 days after exposure.