21 May 2020

No new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand for fourth day in a row

2:54 pm on 21 May 2020

There have been no new cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand for the fourth day running.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the total number of total confirmed cases stands at 1153.

There have been just two new cases in the past 10 days.

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Another five cases have been confirmed as recovered, meaning 97 percent of cases have recovered. Just one person remains in hospital in Middlemore.

There have been no further deaths.

Dr Bloomfield said 6113 tests were done yesterday and 244,838 tests have been completed in total.

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Dr Bloomfield says since the start of level 2, there have been 650 funerals and tangihanga registrations to have larger gatherings.

Bloomfield said since New Zealand moved to alert level 2 funeral directors have been able to register funerals and tangihanga to enable groups of up to 50 to participate if they have precautions in place.

"I'm really pleased to see that that system has been working really well and enabling family and friends get together and grieve for lost family members," he said.

Under the government's phased approach to level 2, bars are reopening today, a week after other businesses.

Dr Bloomfield said New Zealanders should enjoy the new freedoms and support a local business, but it was not the time to try out any new dance moves learned over the lockdown.

"So do have fun if you are heading out to a bar or pub over the coming days, but do support the staff by ensuring you do that from your seat and are part of a small group."

He said there had been 236,000 registrations of the government's Covid-19 tracing app and he encouraged more New Zealanders to download it.

"It will help us in our overall efforts to contact you quickly if we need to."

Developer Alan Chew, who contributed to the contract tracing app, said the final version it was insufficient for businesses needs in meeting their contact tracing obligations.

Dr Bloomfield said the government had been working with Google to make sure any bugs were fixed with the app and that issues some people had downloading the app were addressed.

"We did some user testing beforehand, but of course the app wasn't tried on every single model of phone, so we are addressing those issues as they arise."

He reiterated that any personal data entered on the app is only held by the Health Ministry and the person using the app.

Dr Bloomfield also encouraged New Zealanders to go out and get a flu jab for the winter and said there were more than 2 million jabs available.

  • 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

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