4 Apr 2020

Covid-19 wrap: What happened on 4 April

9:36 pm on 4 April 2020

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 now has a total of 950 Covid-19 cases, after another 82 were announced today, including 52 confirmed and 30 probable.

There are 10 people in hospitals around the country and one in ICU at Wellington Regional Hospital.

A woman wearing a face mask walks along Rockefeller Center Plaza on Friday, March 2020 in New York, NY.

A woman wearing a face mask walks along Rockefeller Center Plaza on Friday, March 2020 in New York, NY. Photo: AFP

There are 10 clusters nation-wide, including a cluster of 16 cases linked to the Ruby Princess cruise ship's visit to Napier three weeks ago.

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the Health Ministry was becoming increasingly confident that the lockdown is working. The government was likely to make a decision on extending the lockdown next week.

Dr Bloomfield said yesterday was the highest single day of testing at 3631, bringing the total tests to 33,116. There is now testing capacity for 6000 per day.

Fever is no longer a requirement to be tested for Covid-19 and testing is now available for people with respiratory problems, regardless of contact with overseas travel.

New guidelines for Alert Level 4

Ministry of Health and police released additional guidelines for Alert Level 4, saying they wanted to provide clarity and certainty around what was required of people.

Dr Bloomfield issued the Health Notice, which sets out that everyone should be isolated except as permitted and that exercise must be done in a place readily accessed from home and does not include swimming, hunting or tramping.

It also clarified that a child could leave the residence of one joint care-giver to visit or stay at the residence of another joint care-giver (and visit or stay at that residence) if there was a shared bubble arrangement.

And a person could leave their residence to visit or stay at another residence (and visit or stay at that residence) under a shared bubble arrangement if: one person lives alone in one, or both of those residences or everyone in one of those residences is a vulnerable person.

Police said they had issued new operational guidelines to staff and would warn or arrest people who broke the rules.

Rest homes set new rules for residents

From today, no new or returning residents will be admitted into rest homes without a negative test for Covid-19, and those who test negative can be admitted, but will be isolated for 14 days.

Aged Care Association, which represents 90 percent of rest homes in the country, said it had notified health officials of its decision but was yet to hear back.

Its chief executive Simon Wallace said it wanted to work co-operatively with health officials.

"The association has come to this position because we think it is absolutely imperative to protect the health and well-being of all our existing residents and all our staff," he said.

Visitors can only see a resident in person if they are a palliative patient, or on compassionate grounds.

Dr Ang Jury CEO of Women's Refuge

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Women's Refuge sees high demand

Women's Refuge says lockdown worries and family strains are resulting in high demand at many of their services right now.

Chief executive Ang Jury said more than 60 percent of refuges have reported increases in requests for help.

She said violence is still a crime and it is okay to leave your home if you are unsafe to get to a place of safety.

Google tracks Kiwis' movements during lockdown

Google has been tracking New Zealanders' movements to show how often we are going to work, parks, supermarkets and transport hubs during lockdown.

The data showed New Zealanders' trips to retail and recreation facilities, such as restaurants, cafes, shopping centres and libraries were down 91 percent.

Trips to groceries and pharmacies were down 54 percent, trips to parks, beaches and public gardens were down by 78 percent and visits to transport hubs, such as bus and train stations, had dropped by 84 percent.

Visits to workplaces were down by 59 percent and the trend for 'places of residence' was up by 22 percent.

Fiji's PM, Frank Bainmarama gives the a Covid-19 update, with Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho behind him

Fiji's PM, Frank Bainmarama gives the a Covid-19 update, with Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho behind him Photo: Fiji Govt

Covid-19 news around the world

  • US President Donald Trump has said he will not wear a face mask despite new medical guidance advising Americans to do so.
  • Fiji has recorded another five cases overnight bringing its total to 12. It is the highest recorded number of cases in a day.
  • [https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/413444/about-50-qantas-and-jetstar-staff-confirmed-to-have-covid-19 About 50 Qantas and Jetstar staff, including pilots and cabin crew, have tested positive for coronavirus.
  • New Caledonia president Thierry Santa has moved into self-isolation after a member of his crisis management team tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Guam has had two more Covid-19 deaths and two more positive tests, bringing the total number of cases in the US territory to 84.

New Zealand Covid-19 news in a snapshot

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus: