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Lack of community cases 'optimistic' sign New Zealand could get ahead of coronavirus - expert

The number of coronavirus cases in New Zealand has rapidly increased since its slow start, but one expert says it is an optimistic sign that the country's community-linked cases remain so low. 

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Officials still say that it’s too early to judge if we’re on top of the outbreak. Source: 1 NEWS

As of yesterday, health officials reported a one per cent link to community transmission. However, 17 per cent of cases are still being investigated and many are expected to be community transmission. Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, has said it is too early to tell if the country is on top of the outbreak because of the lockdown. 

But Otago University public health professor Michael Baker told 1 NEWS there "are some very optimistic signs".

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"We're not seeing that many cases in the community and also we're not seeing many people turn up at hospital unexpectedly with pneumonia," said Mr Baker. 

"The lockdown was absolutely the right thing to do. I want to congratulate the Government on this decisive step."

The total number of coronavirus cases in New Zealand increased by 71 yesterday, bringing the country’s total to 868.