TODAY |

New Zealand's Covid-19 cases increase by 54, with four people in intensive care

There are now 1160 people with Covid-19 in New Zealand after an additional 54 new cases were announced today.

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An update was provided by the Director-General of Health. Source: 1 NEWS

The new cases are made up of 32 confirmed cases and 22 probable cases.

There are now 12 people in hospital, with four in intensive care. One person is critical.

There have been no additional deaths following that of West Coast woman Anne Guenole last weekend. 

Source: 1 NEWS

The number of people who have recovered from Covid-19 in New Zealand is now 241.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave an update on the number of cases today.

Dr Bloomfield said of the total people with the illness, 42 per cent are linked to overseas travel - a decrease on previous proportions. Forty-one per cent who are close contacts of known existing cases and two per cent are community transmission. The balance is under investigation.

Of the total cases, 73.3 per cent of people are European, 8.5 per cent are Asian, 7.8 per cent Māori and 3.4 per cent Pacifika.

The seven day average of tests in New Zealand is 3063 per day, with the total to date at 42,826. Dr Bloomfield said testing capacity continues to grow.

Dr Bloomfield also gave an update from the World Health Organisation's that face masks are not considered necessary for the general public, except for in circumstances when someone is sick and is wearing a mask to protect others, or for someone who is caring for a sick person to help protect them.

Ms Ardern joined Dr Bloomfield in speaking to media today and again addressed Health Minister David Clark's admission of breaking the Government's lockdown rules.

"I determineed we cannot afford massive disruption in the health sector or to our response," she said, reiterating if circumstances were different he would be sacked.

"David Clark is under no illusion that I expect better and so does New Zealand."

Earlier today, the Prime Minister demoted the Dunedin North MP from his Associate Finance portfolio. For now, he will keep his Health Minister hat.

"He made a mistake, he must pay the price but the price cannot be in our response to Covid-19," Ms Ardern told media today.

"I have a duty of care to New Zealand and it was my determination that moving him from this role at this time would not be in the best interest of that response that we must focus on."

When asked if she would sack him after the pandemic, Ms Ardern said she was focused on the response to Covid-19 not hypothetical situations.

Ms Ardern also gave her well wishes to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who is in intensive care with Covid-19.

Meanwhile, as of last night, the Government's wage subsidy scheme has provided support to preserve the jobs of over one million Kiwis, Ms Ardern said.

The latest numbers show more than 435,000 have been made, almost 10,000 yesterday alone, which has seen more than $6.6 billion paid out to help retain 1,073,120 workers.

Yesterday, $1.3 billion was paid out.