24 Apr 2020

Covid-19: What happened in New Zealand on 24 April

7:09 pm on 24 April 2020

The last weekend in level 4 lockdown is here and New Zealanders are gearing up for life in alert level 3 starting Tuesday.

Wrap for 24 April

Photo: RNZ / Supplied

Work is ongoing for Anzac Day commemorations and businesses resuming, with research on anti-viral drugs, and a focus on resuscitating the economy.

There have been five new cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand, with one more death linked to the Rosewood Rest Home cluster.

Applications for the Jobseeker benefit have risen by 30,000 since 20 March. The wage subsidy scheme has paid out $10.3 billion so far.

Kiwibank economists are calling for a cash injection once we leave level 3 restrictions - putting money straight into New Zealanders' wallets - to help ignite economic activity. They say it would cost $6 billion, or $2b if the support only went to low-income households.

Rich overseas investors could inject much-needed private capital into the economy in exchange for a safe haven from coronavirus, according to an expert in entrepreneurship.

Levelling with level 3

Businesses are making arrangements for employees to start work straight away.

While customers may not be allowed to dine in, restaurants are figuring out ways to have food delivered or picked up.

Similarly, the construction industry will be allowed builders on site provided they follow strict safety guidelines.

Schools are expecting few students when they reopen for class on 29 April.

Only children up to year 10 who cannot study from home, or whose parents need to return to work can go. Everyone else must continue distance learning.

Public transport will continue to be free in alert level 3.

Organised sports or physical activity outside your bubble will not be allowed.

Outdoor sports where 2 metres physical distancing is possible for example golf, tennis, or bowls can be played but, again, only with people in your bubble.

Kiwi scientist behind frontrunner treatment

One anti-viral drug that looks promising in the treatment of Covid-19 was designed and synthesised by Professor Peter Tyler from the Ferrier Institute at Victoria University of Wellington.

It is now going to be trialled in patients in Brazil.

This is one of the trials Furneaux and a group of colleagues would be monitoring for success.

The group is made up of medicinal chemists, clinicians and virologists, including infectious diseases specialist from Otago University Dr Kurt Krause.

Alternative ways to commemorate Anzac Day

The young and old are preparing to get up early and pay tribute in their own unique way.

In Methven, Anne-Maree Middleton and her family have created large poppies and cut-outs of soldiers to decorate the house.

Bryn Murrell, 10, from Tawa said his family were going to wear their uniforms and listen to the dawn service at home.

RNZ is broadcasting a special live dawn service from 6am tomorrow morning.

People are encouraged to stand out at the front gate in the morning and log on and share their Anzac Day pictures at standatdawn.com.

How Covid-19 slowed New Zealand's pulse

The lockdown has led to people connecting more with nature and has affected animal behaviour.

New visualisations down to suburb level show most people are "behaving themselves" and staying home, data analysts say.

Watch timelapses of population movements at suburb level for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, covering the four weeks between 17 March and 14 April.

The timelapses resemble a heartbeat, the population pulsing more strongly in the two frenzied days of level 3 before weakening as soon as the level 4 restrictions kicked in.

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