TODAY |

Coronavirus: Health officials announce 'the highest number of cases we've had in a single day'

New Zealand is not yet flattening the curve of coronavirus cases, health officials said today as 89 new infections were announced, bringing the nationwide total to 797.

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It brings the national Covid-19 total to 797 of confirmed and probable cases. Source: 1 NEWS

Fronting media, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Police Commissioner Mike Bush gave an update on the numbers and the national response to Covid-19 today.

"I think the 89 cases today shows that it's the highest number cases that we've had in a single day," Dr Bloomfield said. "It is on the up and we expect it to keep rising. We won't see any impact until another week at least of the measures that are in place."

However, health officials have said since the outset of the lockdown that coronavirus cases would continue to climb for 10 days. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she expects cases to surpass 1000 in that time.

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Fronting media today, the Director-General of Health said the lockdown's impact won't be seen for another week. Source: 1 NEWS

The new cases are made up of 76 confirmed cases and 13 probable cases. A probable case is when a test comes back negative but it's being treated as confirmed as the person's symptoms fit the criteria of Covid-19.

Ninety two people have recovered and New Zealand's Covid-19 death toll remains at one.

Dr Bloomfied said there is still a strong link to overseas travel at 51 per cent of cases as well as links to confirmed cases within New Zealand at 31 per cent.

At this stage health officials are only categorising one per cent as community transmission. However, 17 per cent of cases are still being investigated. Dr Bloomfield said they expect many of those will transpire to be community transmission.

There are now six clusters of 10 or more people sick with coronavirus in New Zealand, a reduction by one since yesterday.

To date there has been over 26,000 tests completed. Yesterday, there were 2563 tests completed. There are eight labs around the country processing tests and by next week there will be 10.

Dr Bloomfield said health officials are starting to analyse the information about where Covid-19 is in New Zealand, and where its presence is strongest.

“We know that we’ve had the most number of cases in the following district health boards; Southern DHB, and that’s particularly around Queenstown, Waikato, Auckland and Waitemata,” he said.

Also fronting media today, Commissioner Bush called out Kiwis who weren't abiding by the lockdown rules, sending them to the Government's Covid-19 website for guidelines on what can and can't be done during lockdown.

He addressed a video shared by Northland-based health campaigner Dr Lance O’Sullivan, which showed a Northland street busy with cars and people. Dr O'Sullivan said the safety messages aren't sinking in.

In response, Mr Bush said they have since deployed more police to the area to monitor lockdown compliance.

Mr Bush also said 9000 individual kits containing goggles, masks and cleaning agents had been sent to officers around the country to protect them from coronavirus while on the frontline. 

The Ministry of Health has also confirmed it has ordered more personal protective equipment, including 41 million face masks, in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

A state of national emergency remains in place for New Zealand as does the lockdown period.