16 Apr 2020

Fifteen new cases of Covid-19 in NZ, no further deaths

2:10 pm on 16 April 2020

There have been 15 new cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand in the past 24 hours.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the 15 new cases were made up of six confirmed and nine probable cases.

There have been no further deaths.

Eleven of the new cases are connected to the 16 existing clusters.

Watch the media conference here:

Dr Bloomfield said 770 people had recovered from the coronavirus, an increase of 42 from yesterday, and the total number of infections has reached 1401.

There are 12 people in hospital, three are in ICU. Two are in a critical condition.

Four percent of cases are still under investigation.

Yesterday 3661 tests were analysed and 60,160 tests have been carried out in total.

Dr Bloomfield also said a post-mortem was being carried out on the body of a Southland man whose death at his home had been linked to Covid-19, and more information would be provided once the Health Ministry had the findings from that.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also announced details of what life and business activity might look like under alert level 3.

Bars, restaurants, cafes, malls and retail stores remain closed. Drive-through and online shopping will open.

Funerals and weddings will be able to go ahead but with no more than 10 people, but they can only be services with no reception.

She said the goal under a lower level remained to restrict contact with others as much as possible, so people were still being told to stay home and keep in their bubble - but they will be able to expand a small amount.

Ardern described Alert Level 3 as a "waiting room" or "recovery room".

Cabinet ministers will decide on Monday whether to ease the tight restrictions when the initial four-week lockdown period ends on Wednesday night.

Ardern said indications at this stage were promising.

"We should not confuse the success of our actions with overreaction."

She said examples overseas show what happens if no action is taken and the country needed to be cautious in moving down the alert level.

"The last thing we want to do when moving levels is give away the gains that we have won in lockdown"

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