This article is republished with permission under a partnerships agreement with Radio New Zealand.
As Covid-19 spreads around the world, it can be daunting keeping up with the information. For RNZ, our responsibility is to give you verified, up to the minute, trustworthy information to help you make decisions about your lives and your health. We’ll also be asking questions of officials and decision makers about how they’re responding to the virus. Our aim is to keep you informed.
There are 83 new cases of Covid-19 as of this morning, made up of 78 new confirmed cases and five probable cases.
Watch officials give an update on the national and health response at the media conference:
The total number of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand is now 451, with overseas travel and links to confirmed cases still being the most significant infection path.
Two people are in intensive care units, one is on a ventilator – both are in a critical condition.
Fifty individuals have recovered, 12 people are in hospital with Covid-19 – three in Wellington Regional Hospital, two in Nelson Hospital, two in Whangarei Hospital and one each in Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Dunedin and Greymouth hospitals.
Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black said laboratories were working to process and report test results as quickly as possible, with the average daily test number over a 7-day period being 1613.
There was a small number of Air NZ staff who are infected with Covid-19, she said.
She said health officials expect to see an increase in covid-19 cases in the coming days, despite today’s number of cases being lower than yesterday’s.
Stuart-Black said abuse on social media of people who have been confirmed as having Covid-19 was just not acceptable, and urged people not to make it any harder for those who need to seek help.
- 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
Hospitals have been ramping up to be able to cope with patients needing respiratory support, including intensive care beds, Stuart-Black said.
More than 2500 retired health workers have signed up to help with the Covid-19 response.
All of Government controller John Ombler said most were following the nationwide lockdown rules. There have been isolated incidents of people congregating and they have been warned by police, he said.
Ombler said he had heard reports of New Zealanders who have arrived back in the country and in self-isolation at hotels without food, and that was not good enough.
He said they were dealing with those without the capacity to self isolate – sending the Red Cross to hotels to help with any welfare issues as they arise.
They could also transfer international arrivals to their home base via regional flights, specifically for their repatriation home, he said.
He urged people to stick to their bubble and only leave for essential needs, or when exercising to stick nearby their area of residence.
For those who arrive at an international port and can get home by car – no more than five hours drive – they will be able to do so under specific circumstances.
He reiterated the message that no-one needs to worry about supermarkets running out of food. People should choose one person to do the shopping and respect the need for physical distancing.
He said there was now guidance on the Covid-19 website which provides information about what medical staff need in terms of Personal Protective Equipment.
Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:
- See all RNZ Covid-19 news
- Follow our live blog for all the latest coronavirus updates
- Government clarifies essential services during lockdown
- Covid-19 symptoms: What they are and how they make you feel
- Touching your Face: Why do we do it and how to stop
- Scientific hand-washing advice to avoid infection
- The Coronavirus Podcast