New Zealand health officials announced today that the suspect Ebola patient who was admitted at Christchurch Hospital has tested negative for the lethal virus.

New Zealand/CIA
New Zealand/CIA

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the healthcare worker who recently returned from Sierra Leone has tested negative for the Ebola virus.

“Obviously this is great news,” says Dr Coleman. “I am advised that in line with established international protocols, a second test is required to confirm the result.

“We should have the results of the second test within 48 hours. It is highly unlikely that it will come back with a positive result.

“The patient continues to be in a stable condition, and will remain in one of Christchurch Hospital’s dedicated specialist medical isolation rooms until the result of the second test is known.

“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the patient and their family, who carefully followed the protocols for returning health workers, to ensure that there was no potential risk of others being exposed.

“I would also like to recognise the collective efforts of the many health workers involved, including St John’s Ambulance, Southern Regional Public Health, Canterbury DHB, and the Ministry of Health.

“The health sector has planned for months for just such an eventuality, and it is pleasing to see that all the preparation has paid off.”

The patient is believed to be Bronwyn McBain, as reported by local media sources.