A Christchurch woman in her 90s who was living in the Rosewood rest home is the country's second death from Covid-19, the Health Ministry has confirmed.
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Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay said the "frail" woman could not have family around her in her last couple of days, because they were not allowed at the facility in Burwood Hospital.
"However, hospital staff were able to provide her with comfort and support, and we thank them for that."
The woman was transferred from Rosewood Rest Home and Hospital to Burwood Hospital alongside other residents, as part of a cluster management process. She had common age-related conditions prior to testing positive.
The Canterbury DHB is investigating staff and residents to find out how the virus affected the rest home.
"This latest sad news reinforces the importance of our move to alert level 4," said Dr McElnay, "and the measures that we are all taking to limit the spread, break the chain of transmission and prevent deaths."
McElnay also said the number of new cases in New Zealand has risen to 44 - 23 new confirmed and 21 new probable cases. The country's current total of Covid-19 cases is 1283.
Fourteen of the new cases are linked to existing clusters around the country. There are 12 remaining clusters in New Zealand.
There were 29 new cases yesterday and Dr McElnay said the rise in new cases showed the country could not be too complacent.
"We are still generally heading in the right direction, and that's very affirming. But it very much emphasises that we're not out of the woods yet.
"We would expect to see numbers to go up and down in the immediate short-term."
There are now 16 people in hospital with the coronavirus - four are in ICU and two are in a critical condition, in the Southern and Waitemata DHB areas.
McElnay said 373 people had now recovered from the coronavirus.
There was a "strong, but declining" link to overseas travel at 40 percent. Community transmission stands at 2 percent
"There are still cases that we continue to investigate and that's about 14 percent."
Yesterday had the highest numbers tested to date, but we may see a decline over the weekend, McElnay said.
She said PPE was not being rationed.
"The country does have sufficient stocks."
The ministry had been working with DHBs to ensure that distribution chain was working, she said.
"This is an Easter unlike any other Easters."
- 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