AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa, apostolic nuncio to New Zealand, has self-isolated after a recent trip to Italy, in line with guidance from New Zealand authorities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Msgr. Edward Karaan, deputy head of mission and first secretary at the apostolic nunciature in Wellington, said the nuncio is not ill, but he is following the guidance issued by the government March 2 that travelers from Italy isolate themselves for 14 days.

“He just came from Italy. He is doing the normal thing, following the rules of the New Zealand government,” Karaan told NZ Catholic. “These are just precautionary measures.”

In Italy, Rugambwa visited his superiors at the Vatican and some of his friends, Karaan said.

New Zealand is one of at least 75 countries to report confirmed cases of COVID-19. In New Zealand, as of March 4, there were three confirmed cases, including one person who had been in Iran and another who had been in northern Italy.

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