25 Apr 2020

Covid-19: What happened in New Zealand on Anzac Day

8:47 pm on 25 April 2020

Anzac Day was commemorated in a different way today due to the lockdown, while the Ministry of Health announced five new cases of Covid-19 and the death of a woman in her 70s.

People on Hillsborough Road in Auckland this on Anzac Day.

People on Hillsborough Road in Auckland this morning marking Anzac Day. Photo: Supplied / Mahuta Amoamo

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 was no usual daily media briefing, but a statement from the Ministry of Health said: "Today there are five new cases of COVID-19 - made up of three new confirmed cases and two new probable cases - from 6777 tests completed yesterday."

Four are linked to existing clusters and one is still under investigation.

The woman who died was in her 70s and had underlying health conditions. She was in Waitakere Hospital and had been transferred from CHT St Margarets Hospital and Rest Home.

She is the second resident transferred from CHT St Margarets to Waitakere to die. The woman who died today is the 18th person in New Zealand to die from the virus.

There are seven people in hospital and one is in intensive care at Middlemore Hospital.

There remain 16 significant clusters, although a cluster in Wellington that was linked to a wedding has now been closed as it has been 28 days since a case was notified, the statement said.

"The combined total of tests undertaken to date are 115,015. The combined total of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand is 1461, with 1118 reported as recovered - an increase of 23 on yesterday."

That means 77 percent of all confirmed and probable cases are now recovered and there are 343 active cases.

  • 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

Kiwis commemorate Anzac Day under lockdown rules

New Zealanders commemorated Anzac Day in a different way today, with services around the country shelved and veterans unable to get together because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

However, it did not stop people - young and old - from preparing to get up early and celebrate in their own unique way.

Across the country, people stood at their driveways this morning to commemorate Anzac Day with "individual acts of commemoration".

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Christobelle and Casey Hughes commemorating Anzac Day their way. Photo: Katrina Hughes

The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, commemorated Anzac Day from the front gate of Premier House in Wellington at 6am this morning.

"While we cannot physically come together, I know we are united by our respect for our veterans and our service personnel," Ardern said.

"Nationwide from dawn and throughout the day, our individual acts of commemoration - that is what will form our collective tribute."

RNZ partnered with the RSA and the NZDF to broadcast a special Anzac Day Dawn Service.

To mark the day Coastwatchers - Operation Pacific tells the stories of the unsung heroes of the New Zealand war effort for the first time.

Unemployment could reach 30% in Queenstown

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult has laid out the "sobering, chilling" reality the district faces due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The district's economy is predicted to shrink by 40 percent with unemployment likely to reach 25 to 30 percent.

Boult said, in only a month, the district went from New Zealand's most successful to potentially one of its poorest.

"By a massive margin, we will be the most detrimentally affected district in Aotearoa New Zealand," he said.

At this week's council meeting Boult outlined the more than 8400 welfare requests the council had received since the outbreak.

Boult said two taskforces would be formed - one concentrating on community recovery and ensuring the vulnerable were looked after; and the other would focus on economic recovery.

Colored crosswalk and people in street of city after dusk showing the character of famous tourist spot.

Queenstown's economy is forecast to shrink by 40 percent. Photo: 123rf

Stress for blended families during lockdown

Broken bubbles, breached family court orders and children who have not seen their parents in weeks - that's how many families with shared childcare arrangements are describing their experience of the lockdown.

They say the guidelines issued by the Family Court for the Covid-19 crisis are too broad and the shift to level 3 brings no relief.

When the alert level 4 conditions were announced last month, there was confusion among many parents who shared care of their children, with hundreds flocking to social media support pages asking for clarity.

Family Lawyer Erin Ebborn said her office was immediately flooded with questions, but it was difficult to have a perfect solution for everyone.

"Part of the problem is you have many people who love a child and you have many people who a child loves. And families are complex. All we can do is say that hopefully, this is for a shorter period of time as possible and that it's because of the collective need of New Zealand as a whole," Ebborn said.

"There isn't an easy answer because we're not in an easy situation and unfortunately sometimes that will cause some hardship or unfairness to a parent."

Lockdown relief and kindness

Thousands of descendants from the country's biggest iwi Ngāpuhi live away from their tribal boundaries, but those living in Auckland have found more unity and strength during the nationwide lockdown than ever.

A group of more than a hundred volunteers from Ngāpuhi ki Tāmaki, a network of more than 50,000 Ngāpuhi descendants living in Auckland, have delivered 150 food packs and 200 hygiene packs to Ngāpuhi kaumātua living in the city.

One of the network's founders, Māhera Maihi, said when the government announced the lockdown four weeks ago, she knew her people needed to rally together and "went straight into response mode".

Meanwhile, Trade Me has launched a "kindness store" which aims to support charities during Covid-19.

Items such as winter blankets, vouchers and food parcels are purchased online and then donated to Women's Refuge, Red Cross, City Mission, Age Concern, Variety the Children's Charity and The Salvation Army.

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The platform - developed by Wellington Culinary Events Trust, which runs Wellington On A Plate (WOAP) - will be launched on Monday in time for the change to alert level 3. Photo: Gate To Plate / Visa Wellington On A Plate

While in Wellington a new digital hub showcasing the city's eateries has been created, with all businesses that sign up eligible to receive a subsidy of up to $500.

The money - set aside by the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency, or Wellington NZ - will be used to cover the costs for every business which is offering to deliver over the two weeks the country is planned to be in alert level 3.

The subsidy comes from a total pot of $250,000, which has been repurposed from the agency's marketing budget. Each business will be able to claim $10 per delivery, up to the $500 total.

What's been happening overseas?

* The US virus death toll has surpassed 50,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. - BBC

* China has rejected calls for an independent international investigation into the origin of the coronavirus. A top diplomat in the UK, Chen Wen told the BBC the demands were politically motivated and would divert China's attention from fighting the pandemic. - BBC

* Time will tell whether Sweden's relaxed approach to Covid-19 will pay off. - BBC

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