New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern advises visitors not to have sex with hospital patients amid Covid-19

No funny business.

Syahindah Ishak | September 09, 2021, 06:34 PM

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has advised hospital visitors against having sexual relations with patients.

Ardern was speaking at her daily Covid-19 press conference with New Zealand Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield on Sep. 9.

Patient and visitor allegedly had sex

A reporter had brought up an allegation that a patient and a visitor at a hospital had "sexual relations".

The reporter asked Bloomfield and Ardern if "sexual relations" at the hospital were considered a "high-risk activity, in the current climate".

Ardern's expression visibly shifted from distraught to perplexed as the question was being asked.

Shouldn't be part of visiting hours

Bloomfield responded to the question first, saying:

"I think it is a high-risk activity, potentially. However, I don’t know any of the details about that interaction."

Ardern subsequently added:

"I would say, generally, regardless of the Covid status, that kind of thing shouldn’t generally be part of visiting hours, I would have thought."

Formal complaint filed after the alleged sexual incident

According to 1 News, the alleged sexual incident happened in a ward at Auckland Hospital.

The ward had four patients.

One of the patients, Kevin, had filed a formal complaint following the incident.

He said, as reported by 1 News:

"Five o’clock, this young lady came in and disappeared behind the curtains and it was pretty obvious what was happening in there.


There was four people in the ward and it was all just a bit staggering, all very embarrassing."

Number of visitors to the hospital drew criticism

Kevin also said that he was concerned about the increasing number of visitors in the hospital, claiming that he estimates around 60 visitors to the ward each day during his three-day stay.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) had previously criticised the Auckland District Health Board (DHB) for allowing hundreds of visitors to visit the patients per day.

This is despite a lockdown in the Auckland region to combat a new outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

Speaking at the Sep. 9 press conference, Bloomfield said that the hospital visitor guidelines will be updated in direct response to the Delta variant.

"It will be our job to make sure the DHBs have got that to set up principles and guidance," added Bloomfield.

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Top images via Aaron Dahmen/Twitter.