20 Apr 2020

Nine new Covid-19 cases as lockdown decision nears

2:56 pm on 20 April 2020

There are nine new cases of Covid-19 in the country today and no new deaths, the Ministry of Health says.

LAKE SUCCESS, NY - MARCH 11: A lab technician begins semi-automated testing for COVID-19 at Northwell Health Labs on March 11, 2020 in Lake Success, New York.

Testing for the coronavirus. Photo: AFP

Seven of the cases are confirmed and two are probable.

Fourteen people are in hospital, three in intensive care units (ICU) - one each in Middlemore, Dunedin and North Shore hospitals. Two of the ICU patients are in a critical condition.

They bring New Zealand's total Covid-19 cases to 1440, up from 1431 yesterday.

The latest update was released via a written statement from the Ministry of Health, instead of the usual 1pm livestreamed briefing.

Covid-19 cases New Zealand NZ as on 20 April

Photo: RNZ

The country's death toll remains at 12, after confirmation yesterday that an Invercargill man who died more than a week ago was suffering from Covid-19. He is believed to be the first person to die at home from the virus.

A total of 974 people have now recovered from the virus - an increase of 62 on yesterday.

  • 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

Four of the cases are being investigated for links to confirmed cases, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

There are still 16 significant clusters - no change from yesterday. One additional case has been added to one of the clusters.

The ministry said 3081 tests were processed yesterday, with a total 86,305 tests processed so far.

Today's daily increase is the same as yesterday's nine, announced by Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Over the weekend, there were a number of efforts around wider community testing by public health and primary care, the ministry said.

It said Waitematā DHB had test sites at two supermarket locations in Māngere and Henderson on Saturday. Over 400 samples were taken and have now come back with negative results.

Cabinet is meeting to make its decision on whether or not the level four restrictions will be extended or not, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due to make an announcement at 4pm.

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