10 new Southern cases of Covid-19


New Zealand has 54 new confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases to 1160, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

There are two confirmed cases in the Gore district.

Today’s new figure is down from the 67 new cases reported yesterday.

Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there are 12 people in hospital – four of them are in ICUs in Wellington, Waitemata, Counties and Southern, and one of them is in a critical condition.

One person had been discharged from hospital since the update yesterday.

The Ministry of Health said there is only one person in hospital in the South and they are at Dunedin Hospital.

Bloomfield said 241 people have now recovered from the coronavirus.

The new total number of cases since the pandemic began has now risen to 1160.

The Southern District continues to be the health board area with the most cases at 187 and has increased by 10 cases over the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

It was also the district which had the highest increase of cases over that 24-hour period, followed by the Waikato DHB (9 cases) and the Caterbury and Counties Manukau DHBs (7 cases each).

The Southern district has 172 confirmed cases and 15 probable cases, the ministry said.

The SDHB released the location of the 10 new cases in the South this afternoon. There are five new confirmed or probable cases of the virus in Invercargill, four in Dunedin and one in Central Otago.

There were no new cases in the Queenstown-Lakes, Southland, Gore, Waitaki or Clutha territories.

Bloomfield said there were now five more people in the Marist cluster, a larger increase in the Bluff cluster and one more in the Matamata cluster. There were no new clusters, he said.

In fact, he said just under half on the new cases are coming from clusters.

There are an additional 11 confirmed cases connected to the Bluff wedding cluster who have been diagnosed and are self-isolating, he said.

The wedding reception was held at Oyster Cove Restaurant and Bar on March 21, before a ban on large gatherings was introduced, and was attended by about 70 guests.

The owners, who made all staff isolate after the wedding, said the guests had travelled from all around the country.

Nationally there is 2% community transmission, Bloomfield said.

There have been more than 42,800 tests so far, almost 3000 yesterday.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the World Health Organisation is not advising that people using masks outside at all times.

Bloomfield expected the number of new cases to “continue to stay level” before a decline.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also spoken at today’s media conference and said the case rates suggested the level four lockdown was working.

“For the moment, we do appear, at this early stage, to be on track.”

Yesterday the prime minister made it clear the alert level four Covid-19 lockdown will go for the full four weeks, and she said today it was more important than ever that people stayed home.

“Now is not the time to change any of our behaviours.”

The number of people coming to New Zealand overseas with Covid-19 has been dropping.

The most affected age group is the 20-29 age bracket (286 in this age group).

 RNZ/ NZ Herald

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