Family in COVID-19 isolation needs restraint

Family in COVID-19 isolation needs restraint

Auckland, March 4, 2020

A technician prepares patient samples for the clarification of the coronavirus. Photo: AFP

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has appealed to the people to observe restraint and calm as a Kiwi family in isolation for COVID-19 is battered through social media.

ARPHS Director Dr William Rainger said that the family has done everything right and has minimised the risk to others.

“The woman with the virus has gone straight into isolation with her family when she was told she was suspected of having COVID-19. Yet, they have become the focus of sustained and abusive bullying on social media and are being hounded by the media,” he said.

Attack not acceptable

Dr Rainger said that there is a high level of anxiety and concern in the school and wider communities, but it is not acceptable to attack people who have been caught up in this global outbreak.

“They have taken all the right actions to protect others. As a public health service, we are worried that such attacks will lead people to hide any illness that might be COVID-19, and not seek medical attention. We will not be able to contain this spread of this illness, if the public response is so hostile towards cases and their families,” he said.

The Ministry of Health also supports the ARPHS message.

“I want to say that this is a Kiwi family that has been affected by a virus that is part of a worldwide outbreak. What they need is support and understanding. Our task is to ensure they have all the support and health care they need,” Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

Source: Auckland Regional Public Health Service

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