20 Mar 2020

Eleven new cases of Covid-19 in NZ - Health Ministry

2:03 pm on 20 March 2020

The Ministry of Health has confirmed there are 11 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in New Zealand, bringing the total to 39.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has gvien the latest update.

Watch the latest media conference here:

He said there was no evidence yet that the virus is circulating in the community - and some of the 11 had been linked to overseas travel - but health officials are still investigating some cases.

All of the latest victims are at home in self-isolation.

Five of the 11 are in Auckland, two are in Hamilton, two in Wellington, and one each in Canterbury and Hawke's Bay.

Dr Bloomfield said one of the people announced yesterday that had the virus - a man in his 60s - is in Queenstown Lakes Hospital in a stable condition.

Dr Bloomfield also highlighted the importance of keeping up communication with people self-isolating, as it was very important for people's mental health that they keep in touch with friends and family.

He said work, school and public transport were considered "essential gatherings", and did not need to be closed

Dr Bloomfield denied testing was being "rationed". He said more thanr 1000 tests were done yesterday, but laboratories currently had capacity to rise to 1500 a day.

Foodstuffs South Island chief executive Steve Anderson also talked about New Zealand's food supply chain at the update and said all of New Zealand's supermarket chains were asking the population to shop normally, "so we can collectively continue to feed New Zealand".

He said supply was not an issue.

"Let's shop as normal and be nice to each other."

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

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