Cases in South climb to 200, but rate of increase drops


The number of Covid-19 cases in the Southern District Health Board area has climbed to 200, but the rate of new cases continues to drop with only five announced today.

Only 29 new Covid-19 cases were announced in New Zealand today, which was the lowest number of cases since March 23, before the lockdown began.

The increase of five in the South was the smallest since the lockdown began.

However, the SDHB area continues to have the largest number of cases and despite there being only five new cases, it was still the equal largest number of new cases of any DHB area in New Zealand.

Canterbury DHB also had five new cases.

There are now three Covid-19 patients in SDHB hospitals, including one person in ICU at Dunedin Hospital. The SDHB said yesterday that a patient in Dunedin ICU was in critical condition.

Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the 29 cases in New Zealand are comprised of 23 confirmed cases and six probable cases, bringing the total number of cases to 1239.

Meanwhile the Bluff wedding cluster is now connected to the largest number of Covid-19 cases, climbing by six to 87, followed by Marist College (84) and the Matamata cluster (64).

Dr Bloomfield confirmed the person who went to the wedding with Covid-19 came from overseas.

The reason why the wedding took some time to be listed as a Covid-19 cluster was that it took a while for case numbers to climb enough to meet the definition.

“Once they do reach that level then of course we start investigating it is a cluster and then reporting it is a cluster.”

Because people came to the wedding from around the country there was a smaller sub-cluster in Wellington and a larger cluster of about 25 in the Waikato which originated from the event and were counted as part of the overall cluster.

The wedding 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 Ministry of Health website also shows there were three new cases connected to the World Hereford Conference in Queenstown.

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