COVID-19 Update

Adapted from: and

Key Information

At this stage, there is no evidence that MS treatments increase the risk of infection with COVID-19. Theoretically, however, there may be an increased risk of infection (and a possible effect on the course of infection) on some treatments that may have more of an immunosuppressive effect, particularly Fingolimod and Ocrelizumab. There is also potentially an increased risk in those who have had aHSCT.

Click here for advice about specific medications.

Financial Assistance

MS Otago Service

We are still open but can only help by phone and online.

The easiest way to get hold of our support worker is to call us on 03 455 5894 and choose option 2. We’ll be back working on Monday.

Key sources of information

Guidance specific to people with MS us available on the MSNZ website at:
This includes guidance for people taking medication.

General guidance around COVID-19 is available from MSNZ at:

The Ministry of Health is the key point of information their website is at: and is updated regularly.

Alert Level 4

New Zealand is now at Alert Level 4.

This will save lives. You must stay home.

Level 4 measures include:

  • anyone not involved in essential work, needs to stay at home
  • educational facilities are now closed
  • businesses are closed, except for essential services like supermarkets, pharmacies and clinics, and lifeline utilities.

You must reside at the same place for the duration of the time New Zealand is at Alert Level 4. Where you stayed on the evening of Wednesday 25 March is where you must remain.

You must only be in physical contact with those you are living with.

It is likely Level 4 measures will stay in place for a number of weeks.

Remember, what you do now, will affect all of us.

Remember good hygiene

In order to minimise the risk of being infected by COVID-19, you should follow the standard precautions advised by the Ministry of Health:

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds).
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or food with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms and have been to any countries or territories of concern or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19.

This is the best source of advice on how to keep yourself safe and is kept up to date.

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