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Ministry of Health marks one year since first Covid-19 test in New Zealand

The Ministry of Health today marked one year since the first Covid-19 test was carried out in New Zealand.

Nurses speak to people waiting in line outside a pop up Covid-19 testing station, central Auckland on 19 November, 2020. Source: Getty

The first test, on 22 January 2020, was processed by the Institue of Environmental Science and Research.

According to MoH, almost 1.5 million tests have been carried out in the community and at the border since that time.

"The rapid development of testing capability throughout New Zealand is one of the success stories underpinning the response and the sector now has surge capability to handle testing up to 25,000 samples per day," the Ministry says.

"The PCR test using a nasopharyngeal swab is considered the gold standard for Covid testing as it detects the virus the most effectively."

The first case of Covid-19 wasn't announced in New Zealand until February 28, 2020, a person in their 60s who arrived from Iran.

Since then there have been a total of 2275 cases reported here, with 25 deaths.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,480,691.

Today, nine new cases were detected at the border.