The Ministry of Health has announced there are no new Covid-19 cases in New Zealand for a third straight day today.
The information was released electronically as the Government prepares for its media conference at 2pm for this year’s Budget.
There have been zero deaths from coronavirus since yesterday's update. The death toll remains at 21.
Today's announcement means New Zealand's total number of people who have or have had Covid-19, including probable cases, remains at 1497. The number of confirmed cases - the number New Zealand gives to the World Health Organisation and compares with other nations - is still 1147.
Of those cases, the Ministry of Health confirmed 1411 people have recovered, up 9 on yesterday for 94 per cent of all cases. 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.
The Ministry of Health added there are two people in hospitals throughout the country with the virus, none of whom are in intensive care. One each in Auckland and Middlemore hospitals.
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.
The Ministry of Health said while they had previously closed four clusters, they have since changed their definition of closure which has nullified that status for all four.
“We have received and accepted advice that we will use an improved definition of a closed cluster,” the Ministry of Health said.
“This is that there should be two full transmission periods since the last case completed their isolation period.
“We are now using that definition and will also be applying it retrospectively which means none of the four previous clusters are considered closed. It’s important to note that there has been no new disease activity in these clusters.
“We don’t expect any clusters to close under the new definition until later this month.
“From a public health point of view taking this step makes it easier for public health unit staff to retain appropriate public health measures such as isolation while they continue to learn all they can from the different clusters.”
Yesterday, 6,568 Covid-19 tests were carried out in New Zealand, bringing the total to 209,613 so far.