New Zealanders dealing with the Coronavirus

Thanks to Pat Syme for this article

Nearly 200 visitors to Wuhan were able to return to NZ on Wednesday in a special AirNZ plane. Another 60 people were expected at Wuhan airport but did not arrive in time for the flight. The passengers were New Zealanders, Australians, Pacific Islanders and a few from Britain.

Wuhan is in lockdown at the moment because of the coronavirus. Public transport is not working, and people are told to stay home. Petrol stations are closed. Anyone travelling in a car must go through a checkpoint.

The AirNZ plane left Auckland early Wednesday morning with 5 pilots, a crew of 11 volunteers and a medical team. The crew wore special protective gear and used the business class bathrooms. Passengers used the economy class bathrooms. Nobody became sick on the flight.

The flight to Wuhan took 13 hours. The plane stayed at Wuhan a very short time before taking off for the return trip to Auckland.

The Australians departed for their home soon after arriving in Auckland. All the other passengers were taken by bus to a military camp in Whangaparaoa, north of Auckland, where they will stay for 14 days in quarantine.

Vocabulary

quarantine – isolation

lockdown – when people are forced to stay in one place

petrol station – gas station

checkpoint – a place where the police are waiting to check any people who go past them

crew – the workers on a boat or plane

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