By RNZ News
A man in his 50s linked to the Auckland cluster of covid-19 coronavirus infections has died at Middlemore Hospital today – New Zealand’s first death from the virus in more than three months.
The Health Ministry confirmed this today and the death toll from covid-19 in New Zealand is now 23.
The man was a confirmed case of covid-19 and was being cared for in intensive care at Middlemore.
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The ministry said his family were regularly updated, and his wife and son were able to visit him, using full PPE.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said he acknowledged the anxiety New Zealanders “may be feeling about today’s news, both in the wider community and also for the family and whanau grieving over this death”.
“Our thoughts are with his family and community at this time of loss and grief.
“We have always recognised that further deaths linked to covid-19 were possible. Although the health system has done and will continue to do everything we can to prevent them, this can be a very challenging virus to treat and for some people to recover from,” he said.
Shared vigilance important
“Today’s news reinforces the importance of our shared vigilance against covid-19, the very serious consequences the virus can carry with it, and the measures we all need to take to stop the spread, break any chain of transmission and prevent deaths.”
The last death from covid-19 in New Zealand was on Sunday, May 24, and was added to New Zealand’s official death tally the following Friday, May 29.
At today’s covid-19 briefing, Dr Bloomfield revealed there had been five new cases reported in New Zealand today – three in the community and two imported.
The three new community cases have all been linked to the Auckland cluster.
The two new imported cases are children who came from India.
Five people are in hospital with the coronavirus and there are 111 cases of the virus in the country at present.
This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.