By RNZ News
New Zealand has had two further deaths because of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, doubling the death toll to four, says Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay.
“New Zealand now has four deaths associated with Covid-19. As we have said previously, this can be a very serious disease, particularly for elderly people and also for those with underlying health conditions,” Dr McElnay said today.
Both deaths have occurred in older people with underlying health conditions and both cases are linked to existing clusters.
The second death is a man in his 70s who was at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch.
Dr McElnay said the Ministry of Health thanked frontline health staff who were providing support and comfort to patients during the lockdown when families couldn’t always be together.
“Our health system will continue to do everything it can to support the fight against Covid-19.”
29 new cases
There are 29 new cases of Covid-19, made up of 20 confirmed cases and nine probable cases.
There are now 422 cases who have recovered from Covid-19. There are 15 people in hospital, including five in intensive care. One person in an intensive care unit (ICU) in Dunedin is in a critical condition.
The total number of cases in New Zealand is 1312.
“For those cases we have information on, we are still seeing a clear but declining link to overseas travel at 40 percent; with ongoing links to confirmed cases withing New Zealand 46 percent including those in clusters we already know about; and community transmission at 2 percent. We are still investigating 11 percent of cases,” Dr McElnay said.
New Zealand carried out 3061 tests yesterday and overall 58,746 cases have been conducted since the epidemic began.
Three of the four deaths are linked to clusters. There are 13 significant clusters in the country. The new cluster is associated with the George Manning Lifecare Village rest home in Christchurch.
The country will remain in the alert level 4 lockdown until April 23. Whether it will be extended or not will be announced at a later date.
While supermarkets were shut on Good Friday, they will be able to open on Easter Sunday tomorrow.
This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.