Coronavirus threat probe

by Ann van Engelen

Canterbury police are making enquiries into an email sent to a Rolleston School family advising them to keep their children at home.

“We are aware the NZ Police are investigating an email reportedly sent to a parent,” says Rolleston School principal Simon Moriarty.

“We celebrate that we are a multicultural community and school — we do not and will not tolerate racist behaviour. We have been providing our community with the most up-to-date information from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health advisories, and we are looking forward to welcoming back our students and families for the start of the school year.

“At times like this, communities need to come together and support each other.”

The Canterbury police have confirmed that on Sunday, February 2 they received a report about a concerning email regarding coronavirus received in the Rolleston area.

“We have made contact with the person reporting the matter to provide advice, and enquiries are being undertaken to identify the source of the email. Unlawful, abusive or threatening behaviour targeting another person or group in relation to coronavirus will not be tolerated,” said a police spokesperson. “Reports of racism, xenophobia or people being targeted for any health reasons will be taken seriously and investigated. We encourage all members of our communities to be alert to, and report, all instances of concerning behaviour to police.

“If you see or hear anything, which concerns you, call 111 immediately — whether it is happening in public, at work or school, or online.”

Comprehensive health measures are now in place to prevent New Zealanders returning from Wuhan spreading coronavirus.

Health Minister Dr David Clark says the government is doing all it can to help those New Zealanders at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan to return home as soon as possible on a chartered flight. “We know this is a difficult and stressful time for those people stuck in Wuhan and their families. It is important they receive the best possible care, but also that effective public health measures are in place to ensure the welfare of both passengers and crew.”

The returnees will spend 14 days in isolation at a military facility at Whangaparaoa, where they will receive daily medical checks.