18 May 2020

Covid-19: No new cases again in NZ but Bloomfield warns vigilance

From Checkpoint, 6:20 pm on 18 May 2020

There were no new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand on Monday and there is no community transmission.

At Monday's official briefing, the Director-General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield said the last time they could not link a case to a known contact was April 2.

But far from popping the champagne corks, Dr Bloomfield is reminding people to stay vigilant, be watchful and get tested, saying the country cannot afford to be complacent.

That is because with a two week incubation period, there may yet be new cases. And while the numbers are looking good, when asked "what was required to move to level 1?" Dr Bloomfield urged people to be patient.

On Monday, Cabinet will consider whether to increase the number of people allowed at both private and public gatherings. Currently, gatherings are limited to 10 people, although funerals and tangihanga are allowed 50 people if strict health measures are in place.

The Police Commissioner also attended Monday's briefing. He was asked about the extra powers police have been given during Covid-19 - including the ability to search people's houses, without a warrant, if they believe the Covid-19 epidemic rules aren't being followed.

Andrew Coster defended the new law saying police needed the powers to take action against things like out-of-control parties. Mr Coster says the number of reports to police on possible breaches under alert level 2 had significantly dropped from level 3, Under alert level 3, police received between 700-1000 reports a day of possible breaches, whereas under level two, that has dropped to 200-250 a day.