This article by RNZ.co.nz is republished by the Kaniva Tonga News with permission under its partnerships 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.
New Zealand has 50 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, bringing the total to 205, with the country now in a State of National emergency.
Government officials are now giving an update on the the Covid-19 national response, the latest health update, border issues and an essential services update.
Watch the media conference live here:
Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there were now 205 confirmed and probably cases, and there had been a total of 9780 tests undertaken so far.
Dr Bloomfield said there were five confirmed cases “within the community in one school” – Marist School in the Auckland suburb of Mount Albert. The school has been closed all week and all students and staff are in isolation and being treated as close contacts.
A number of staff are being tested as they are presenting with symptoms.
Six people are in hospital throughout the country. All are in a stable condition, none of them are in ICU. Three of those people are in Wellington hospital.
There are now four cases of community transmission in New Zealand, and more being investigated. Dr Bloomfield said the clusters of cases in the school and Hereford cattle conference could be considered community transmission
Dr Bloomfield said he expected the numbers to increase for at least the next 10 days.
The country is preparing to go into a full lockdown for alert level 4 from 11.59pm tonight, for a minimum of four weeks.
Civil Defence Emergency Management director general Sarah Stuart-Black said a state of national emergency was declared at 12.21pm, and applied to all of New Zealand – including the Chatham Islands, Stewart Island and other inhabited islands.
A nationwide mobile alert will be issued to all New Zealanders between 6-7pm tonight.
The State of Emergency legislation allows it to be in place for seven days and can be extended, said Stuart Black.
She said there would be no tolerance for people who do not self isolate.
Dr Bloomfield said police would announce either later today or tomorrow what the consequences for people flouting the self isolation rules would be.
- 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
Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:
- See all RNZ Covid-19 news
- What the Level 4 lockdown will mean
- Government clarifies essential services during lockdown
- Covid-19 alert system: What you need to know
- Covid-19 symptoms: What they are and how they make you feel
- Self isolation – your questions answered
- Touching your Face: Why do we do it and how to stop
- Scientific hand-washing advice to avoid infection
- Coronavirus: A glossary of terms