29 May 2020

Covid-19: No new cases in New Zealand for one full week

4:02 pm on 29 May 2020

The Ministry of Health says there are no new cases of Covid-19 in the country today, with New Zealand marking a week since the last confirmed case in this country.

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.

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Testing at a Covid-19 clinic. Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

There was no live media briefing from the all-of-government response team today. In a statement, the ministry said the total number of confirmed cases remains at 1154. The combined total of confirmed and probable cases is 1504.

There is just just one active case remaining. There were eight cases yesterday, the first time since 16 March New Zealand was in single digits. A total of 1481 people have now recovered.

Nobody is in hospital with the coronavirus, and there have been no further deaths.

Yesterday, there were no new cases of Covid-19 reported yesterday, for the sixth day in a row. But a woman in her 90s, who died on Sunday after recovering from coronavirus, was added to the Covid-19 death toll, which is now at 22.

Laboratories completed 4162 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 275,852.

The New Zealand Covid Tracer app has now recorded 446,000 registrations - 10,000 in the last 24 hours.

A spokesperson for the ministry said it was encouraging as many people as possible to download the app.

"It will help us identify, trace, test and isolate any cases of Covid-19.

"We also recognise the work being done by businesses to get their unique QR codes up and running, with 19,530 posters having been created as of this morning."

Scientists are also expecting a new blood test to reveal some cases of Covid-19 that were missed because of initial rules around swab testing, and potential community transmission.

This afternoon marks the start of the easing of the 10-person gathering restriction, to expand to 100.

As of midday, groups of up to 100 people are permitted to gather under level 2, including events at home, religious services, parties, weddings, tangihanga and funerals.

"The person in charge of a social gathering must ensure records are kept for contact tracing purposes, except in cases where every person in a gathering knows each other," the ministry said.

The rules of "seated, separated, single-server" still apply for hospitality businesses, but they can now take group bookings for more than 10 people.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said New Zealanders had done an "incredible job" of stamping out the virus.

Allowing 100 people at gatherings would make New Zealand one of the most relaxed regimes, and the most open economy, in the world, Robertson said.

"We are more liberal that Australia, Canada, Ireland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and the US, to name a few. This means that our strong health response is giving our economy a kickstart and a head start", he said.

Despite the positive signs, Robertson said the government would stick to plans to review alert level 2 on 8 June, and would consider moving to level 1 no later than 22 June.

  • 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

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