27 May 2020

No new cases of Covid-19, nobody in hospital with the coronavirus

1:55 pm on 27 May 2020

New Zealand does not have a single person in hospital with Covid-19, as the country marks five consecutive days without a new case.

At the latest Covid-19 update, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the one person who had been in hospital with the coronavirus had been discharged, meaning there was no longer anybody receiving hospital care for it.

"I think this is the first time, at least probably in a couple of months, that we haven't had somebody in hospital, so that's another good position to be in."

Missed the briefing? Watch it here:

There has now been five days with no new cases, and there has been just one case in the past week.

The total number of confirmed cases remains at 1154.

There have been no further deaths and one further person is listed as recovered from the virus in New Zealand.

Only 21 people in the country still have Covid-19.

Dr Bloomfield said New Zealand's labs processed 4279 tests yesterday, bringing the total to 267,435.

He said New Zealand was staying at alert level 2 to be certain that there was no further spread of Covid-19 and also to ensure border procedures were safe and secure.

"Especially as we contemplate a possible bubble with Australia and/or more people coming into the country."

He said he could not speak to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters' comments this morning that the country should be in alert level 1 already.

"What I can say is that we are working very hard on what level 1 will look like, and also separately working very hard with a whole range of players ... on what a trans-Tasman bubble will look like and that requires having confidence in the arrangements on both sides of the Tasman.

"What our job is, is to provide really good advice ... to help make sure there is no risk of transmission between countries."

Another 17,000 people have registered on the NZ Covid Tracer app, bringing the total to about 422,000 people.

Dr Bloomfield said there were now more than 17,000 QR posters in businesses around New Zealand that worked with the app.

The Ministry is launching another app today called Āwhina, which is designed to provide advice to health professionals, including case definitions.

"We've worked on that app with feedback and input from people across the system."

Dr Bloomfield also encouraged people who had been out getting exercise during the lockdown to continue to build physical activity into their day.

"I know it's getting more difficult with shorter and colder days, especially those mornings, but if you can retain that physical activity and build it into your day, perhaps for local trips, that will help you stay well for the winter."

The government yesterday announced a $37 million Covid-19 vaccine strategy aimed at helping national and global efforts to create and distribute a vaccine to fight the coronavirus.

Today University of Otago associate professor James Ussher told Morning Report he's confident a vaccine will be found by the global scientific community.

"We're already making some good progress, we have a strong team across a number of institutions," he said.

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