NZ lockdown – day 8: Biggest increase with 89 new cases, 92 people recovered

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Dr Ashley Bloomfield
NZ's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield ... "ICU staff are geared up, they've got their plans in place to be able to deal with and treat additional people if that's required." Image: RNZ screenshot/PMC

By RNZ News

New Zealand has had its biggest increase in one day as the Health Ministry confirms 89 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases to 797.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said today 92 people had now recovered from the coronavirus.

Thirteen people are in hospital, two are in ICU in Wellington and Nelson. All patients are stable and there have been no further deaths.

READ MORE: Al Jazeera coronavirus live updates – Grim one day death tolls for US, Spain, UK

Today’s Covid-19 media briefing. Video: RNZ News

Dr Bloomfield said 51 percent of cases still have a strong link to travel and 31 percent are linked to confirmed cases.


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Only 1 percent are being classed as community transmission, but 17 percent are still being contact traced.

He said the country was not at the turnaround point yet – with the biggest number of cases and tests done in one day.

Dr Bloomfield said 2563 tests were done yesterday. More than 26,000 tests now conducted.

“I want to acknowledge the huge amount of work that has gone on among our labs over the last few weeks to increase our capacity, amongst the staff there and the work they are doing.”

41 million extra face masks
Dr Bloomfield said 41 million additional face masks have been ordered for New Zealand. There are currently 23 million pairs of gloves, 850,000 face masks and 640,000 face shields in the country.

“ICU staff are geared up, they’ve got their plans in place to be able to deal with and treat additional people if that’s required.”

He said hospital occupation rates were about 50 percent, which was much less than normal, and hospitals were prepared to take Covid-19 patients.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said while most people were following the lockdown rules, there were some exceptions.

“I’m aware of some isolated incidents where people are not necessarily complying, I refer for example to the commentary coming out of Kaitaia this morning from Dr Lance O’Sullivan.

“I can say that we have deployed more of our police staff up into that area to again engage, educate and encourage people to do the right thing, as the majority are doing, of course if that doesn’t work there will be an enforcement follow up.”

Increase in family violence
Bush also said there had been an increase in family violence in Counties Manukau.

He said 9000 individual kits of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been issued to frontline police staff and more stock would be deployed.

Speaking on his final day as Police Commissioner, Bush said he was “extremely proud” of the 14,000 people within New Zealand police and other emergency services who were on the front line of the response to Covid-19.

Andrew Coster will take over the role of Police Commissioner. Bush will stay on as part of the government’s response to Covid-19, taking on the role of strategic leadership of the operational response.

New Zealand is now in its eighth day of the level 4 alert status – a full lockdown for at least four weeks.

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.

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Duty editor of the Asia Pacific Report/Evening Report collaboration or the Pacific Media Centre at the Auckland University of Technology. Feedback: Email the editor

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