Coronavirus cases in New Zealand rises by 85, with one person in intensive care

The number of coronavirus cases in New Zealand has risen by 85, with 76 new confirmed cases and nine new probable cases.

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Dr Ashley Bloomfield gave an update on Covid-19 cases from Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS

It brings the country's total number of cases, both confirmed and probable, to 368.

One person is in intensive care and on a ventilator in Nelson, with eight people in hospital in total. Six people in hospital are stable, two are "less stable", Ministry of Health Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told media today.

Three people with Covid-19 are in Wellington Regional Hospital, two are in Nelson Hospital and one each in Waikato and Auckland and Whangārei hospitals.

Dr Bloomfield said the person in ICU had been in Nelson Hospital for some days. They were originally "not so bad", but deteriorated over the last 24 hours. The person had "significant underlying health conditions".

The other person who is not stable is in Wellington Regional Hospital, but Dr Bloomfield couldn't confirm the ages of either person.

Dr Bloomfield said 37 people in New Zealand had recovered from Covid-19.

Over the last seven days, there has been an average of 1479 tests for Covid-19 done throughout New Zealand each day.

"A reminder, anyone who has been tested an is awaiting their result should be in strict self isolation until that result is confirmed," Dr Bloomfield said.

Contact tracing for all new cases is continuing.

Dr Bloomfield also gave assurance New Zealand had personal protective equipment (PPE) across the country in stockpiles for a situation such as this.

There is a national supply of PPE, and individual District Health Boards also have their own supplies.

In the Ministry of Health national reserve and in stores in DHBs there are currently 1.9 million aprons and gowns, 2.7 million pairs of gloves and 60,000 sets of eye protection, as well as 18 million masks that continue to be the national store, half of which are regular surgical masks and half of which a N95 masks, Dr Bloomfield said today.

There are another five million or so masks out in DHBs, he said.

"All stones are being turned over to make sure we keep our stocks at the levels that will be needed to protect our healthcare workforce and essential workers."

More than 2500 retired or currently non-practicing health professionals, such as staff on maternity leave, have come forward offering their services since the Ministry of Health's call.

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Specialist emergency medicine physician Dr John Bonning talked about how New Zealand has geared up for Covid-19. Source: Breakfast

Dr Bloomfield was joined by Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black to give an update on the numbers and response to Covid-19 today.

"In summary, these are unprecedented times for New Zealand and indeed internationally. We are all in this together."

Today is the second day of a four-week nationwide lockdown and Kiwis are urged to continue to do their bit.

Due to a lag in people being infected and feeling ill, numbers of cases in New Zealand are expected to rise.

"We are expecting the number to grow," Dr Bloomfield said.

"We are testing to find those cases and to take appropriate measures. It will take between a week and probably 10 days before we start to see that number turn around. It will turnaround if we keep doing our bit."

People can find more information at the Government's Covid-19 website.