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The Education and Health Ministers need to act urgently to ensure precautionary measures, response and contingency plans are in place for education providers, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“New Zealand has a large number of international students who study in schools and tertiary institutions from affected countries.

“I have concerns about cases of students being unwell, some who are from Hubei province, who are being discharged to accommodation in close proximity with other students.  

“These young people may not have coronavirus but this is about ensuring we can mitigate the risk. This could be through alternative options for accommodation or isolation beds. The Government should not just be leaving this up to schools or tertiary institutions. Greater financial and practical support should be in place.

“In one case reported in the media an accommodation provider refused to accommodate a student who is waiting for test results. It’s clear there will be students who are unwell and waiting for test results. There is an urgent for more support where providers are not able or do want to house them.

“I have written to both Chris Hipkins and David Clark to ask for urgent additional support.”

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