11 Apr 2020

Covid-19: updates from New Zealand and around the world on 11 April

2:59 pm on 11 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.

There are now 13 significant Covid-19 clusters in New Zealand, including a new one which is linked to a Christchurch aged care facility.

Elderly man. Walking frame. Retirement home.

Photo: 123RF

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay said the new cluster is linked to George Manning Lifecare & Village, Christchurch.

There are 14 probable and confirmed cases at the village, which included a mixture of residents and staff. Dr McElnay said she believed the cluster was well contained.

She also identified two clusters which had not previously been made public.

One was linked to a Spectrum day care facility providing care for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The other one was linked to a private party in Auckland which had 35 cases linked to it.


New Zealand has a total of 1312 cases of Covid-19 coronavirus. There are 15 people in hospital, 422 people have recovered, and four have died.

The country remains in lockdown in alert level 4. Testing will continue over the Easter weekend.


For the first time, Unicef NZ is fundraising to support New Zealand children and families, saying the Covid-19 lockdown is exposing inequalities in the country.

It's joining the Salvation Army and Countdown in hoping to reach hundreds of vulnerable families with urgent food and hygiene supplies during the lockdown.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hopes a flight to repatriate New Zealanders stranded in Peru will be able to depart in a couple of days.

About 50 people have registered for the charter flight, which will cost about $5000 per person. The government is underwriting some of the cost.

A group of 16 New Zealanders stranded on a cruise ship in Uruguay will be boarding an evacuation flight to Melbourne, Australia later today. More than half of the 217 passengers on board the Greg Mortimer have tested positive for Covid-19.

Every person arriving in New Zealand will need to go into either quarantine or "managed isolation" at an approved facility for a minimum of 14 days.

Worldwide the tally of cases has passed 1.6 million and at least 100,000 people have died. The first death came in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on 9 January.

The death toll now compares with that of London's Great Plague in the mid-1660s, which killed an estimated 100,000 people, about a third of the city's population at the time.

The Italian government is extending the country's lockdown till at least 3 May. However, bookshops, stationers and shops selling children's clothes will be allowed to reopen on Tuesday.

Pope Francis presided at a 'Way of the Cross' service held in an empty St Peter's Square on Friday.

It marked the first time the procession was not held at the Colosseum since the modern-day tradition was re-introduced by Pope Paul VI in 1964.

In the Pacific

A nationwide curfew in Vanuatu, imposed as part of Covid-19 restrictions, has been lifted in the wake of Cyclone Harold. Businesses can resume normal operating hours and church services can be held, but hygiene and social distancing measures must be applied.

Tens of thousands of people in Fiji are expected to mark the Easter holiday weekend without electricity as supply to almost 90 percent of the country has yet to be restored after Cyclone Harold.

A senior doctor in Solomon Islands sidelined for criticising government actions under the Covid-19 State of Public Emergency says he accepts his sacking.

Claude Posala was the head of the Department of Ophthalmology at the regional eye centre in Honiara. He is also the president of the Solomon Islands Medical Association.

The termination letter from the Ministry of Public Service said Dr Posala had been critical of government action on Facebook and claimed he posted false information and internal government documents online.

Click here for more stories from the Pacific.

Boris Johnson up and walking in recovery

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was back on his feet in his recovery from Covid-19, while his fellow Britons were told to resist the temptation of going out in the spring sunshine over Easter as the coronavirus death toll rose to nearly 9000.

His rapid health decline shook the country earlier this week, but he came out of three nights of intensive care at St Thomas' Hospital. He was admitted to the hospital after his symptoms persisted.

Fifa boss says health is 'priority'

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has warned against restarting football too early amid the coronavirus pandemic, telling Fifa's 211 member associations that such behaviour would be irresponsible.

Football around the world has come to a standstill with domestic leagues on hold and major tournaments such as Euro 2020 and the Copa America postponed for one year.

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

- With additional reporting by Reuters and BBC