NZ lockdown – Day 5: Catholic girl’s school has biggest virus cluster

Marist College
Marist College in Auckland ... the biggest cluster of infection being tracked by NZ health authorities. Image: RNZ

By RNZ News

The Auckland girl’s secondary school Marist College has New Zealand’s biggest Covid-19 cluster with 47 confirmed and probable cases.

It is the biggest cluster of infection being tracked by NZ health authorities.

The board chairperson Stephen Dallow said the confirmed cases included teachers, students and adults within the community.

READ MORE: Al Jazeera coronavirus live updates: New York death toll tops 1000

The entire Catholic school of about 750 students, as well as staff, have been classed as close contacts and they have been asked to keep to strict isolation rules.

Earlier today, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country now stood at 589.

Sixty-three people have now recovered and 12 people are currently in hospitals around the country – two are in ICU.

PM warns against price-gouging
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that while she had found no evidence of price gouging during the Covid-19 outbreak, the public would be able to to report any they saw.

The Prime Minister has given the latest updates on the government’s fight against the impact of Covid-19 at her weekly post-Cabinet media conference.

Ardern said a special email had been set up that was dedicated to potential price gouging:

She asked people to send photos and receipts to the email so reports of price gouging could be investigated.

“No-one wants to see anyone take unfair financial advantage from this extraordinary period,” she said.

“To be clear, it is not illegal for businesses to increase their prices – but the Fair Trading Act prohibits misleading and deceptive content, and false representation.”

She said if a business gave a reason for an increase, it had to be true, or it risked breaching the Act.

Investigators following up
Some online anecdotes about price gouging were already being followed up, Ardern said.

Greengrocers would not be opened, in order to limit contact between people, said Ardern.

She said the the country could maintain isolation practices with a limited amount of stores open.

“It also means we have fewer workers at risk. For every greengrocer, for every bakery, for every retail store that is open, that’s a workforce that is also put at risk and we need to minimise that as much as possible.”

Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi told RNZ Checkpoint supermarkets have “got to play the game”.

“There’s got to be some good faith here. If we see a pattern of prices heading north that can’t be necessarily explained, because of supply chain issues or seasonal issues, then we’ll be having a chat to them.”

This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP – don’t show up at a medical centre.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email