TODAY |

Covid-19 update: No new infections, Hawke's Bay latest region to report no active cases

The Director-General of Health has announced there are no new Covid-19 infections in New Zealand today while Hawke's Bay District Health Board has confirmed it has no active cases.

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Dr Ashley Bloomfield gave his May 26 update from Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS

Speaking at today's media conference, Dr Ashley Bloomfield also said there have been zero deaths from coronavirus since yesterday's update. The death toll remains at 21.

Dr Bloomfield used today's address to speak on a number of fronts but took time to emphasise while New Zealand's figures are positive, there are still risks from outside that can't be ignored.

"Let's be clear here - the border is our riskiest area and it is a critical part of the Government's overall elimination strategy," Dr Bloomfield said.

"This is especially important now that we feel confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission.

"We do not want to put the good progress we've made in jeopardy and we know that international arrivals are essentially the potential source of new infections in Aotearoa."

HBDHB also announced this afternoon all 44 of its Covid-19 cases have recovered – including the residents and workforce at Gladys Mary Care Home, Napier.

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But he said the country's border needs to be water tight to ensure that doesn't happen. Source: Breakfast

Interim HBDHB CEO Craig Climo said while people in Hawke’s Bay still needed to play it safe, today was a big occasion for many of the district health board teams who have worked tirelessly for many weeks.

“We mark a milestone today, and I along with my colleagues are very grateful to the community for obeying the rules during the lockdown so we could get on top of and prevent community transmission.

“I would like to thank my staff. They have done a tremendous job, and while it’s not yet over they can be proud of a job well done.”

Mr Climo added today’s announcement does not clear the Ruby Princess cluster, which needs to meet Ministry of Health requirements before it can be cleared as a cluster, but there are no active cases remaining within the cluster itself.

The Ministry of Health has clarified a cluster is considered closed when there have been no new cases for two incubation periods from the date when all cases complete isolation.

Hawke’s Bay is the 14th of 20 DHBs to be cleared of Covid-19 so far in New Zealand. The remaining six still facing active cases are: Auckland, Waitematā, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Nelson Marlborough and Canterbury.

Today's announcement means New Zealand's total number of people who have or have had Covid-19, including probable cases, remains at 1504. The number of confirmed cases - the number New Zealand gives to the World Health Organisation and compares with other nations – is still 1154.

Of those cases, Dr Bloomfield confirmed 1461 people have recovered, up five from yesterday and leaving just 22 active cases in the country. A recovered case means the person is symptom free for at least 48 hours and it has been at least 10 days since they first became ill.

Dr Bloomfield added there is one person in hospital with the virus. The person is not in intensive care.

There are still 16 significant Covid-19 clusters around the country. A significant cluster is a group of 10 or more people who have or have had the coronavirus. Two have been closed.

Yesterday, 1841 tests were carried out in New Zealand, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 263,156.