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Dr Ashley Bloomfield confident New Zealand's border restrictions strong enough in fight against Covid-19

Dr Ashley Bloomfield is confident restrictions at New Zealand's border are strong enough amid the effort to stamp out Covid-19, but that doesn't mean ways to make it stronger aren't also being looked into.

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The Director-General of Health spoke to TVNZ1's Breakfast about the levelling off of cases. Source: Breakfast

"It's hard to imagine how we could be stronger at the actual border," the Director-General of Health told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

"There's a very strict set of questions about where people have travelled, whether they've been tested, what their current symptoms are. Anyone with a hint of symptoms is quarantined and tested, where anyone who doesn't have a proper self isolation plan is put into supervised accommodation.

"There are very strict processes at the border and there's many fewer people coming through the border, that doesn't mean we aren't constantly looking at how we could make that even stronger or better."

Dr Bloomfield's comments come as the number of Covid-19 cases in New Zealand seem to be levelling off.

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Dr Ashley Bloomfield Director-General of Health made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS

Yesterday, it was confirmed New Zealand has now surpassed 1000 Covid-19 cases, with the addition of 89 bringing the total to 1039.

Modelling showed if New Zealand did nothing or had the same measures in place it did before the lockdown, we would see exponential growth in numbers. Modelling suggested at about 4000 cases at this time.

But Dr Bloomfield said we hadn't seen that growth.

"What we've definitely seen is this sort of leveling off of number of cases each day. It's not the same each day, but it's more or less levelled off," he said.

"The encouraging thing is that this number has stayed about the same even though our testing has increased a lot over the last week or so.

"It is clearly a result of the lockdown measures and the things we had already put in places before we went into the full lockdown."

The number of people in hospital is also lower than other nations, but Dr Bloomfield said it could be because New Zealand's cases are largely younger people. Yesterday, it was revealed of the 1039 cases, the largest majority - at 262 cases - were people in their 20s.

Older people or people with certain preexisiting conditions are more at risk of getting badly ill from Covid-19. In New Zealand, only 79 of the cases are over 70-year-olds, and 137 are people in their 60s.

Dr Bloomfield couldn't give an update on the two people in critical condition at hospital with Covid-19. An update is expected at 1pm.