TODAY |

PM thankful as more than 2000 health workers offer to come out of retirement to battle coronavirus

Jacinda Ardern is happy over 2000 health professionals not currently working have offered up their services to help battle the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Prime Minister has been busy reassuring Kiwis during the lockdown. Source: Seven Sharp

Appearing on Seven Sharp tonight, the Prime Minister said skilled workers may be needed to run ventilators and help work in intensive care units around the country.

"Every new ventilator requires someone who is trained to operate it 24/7, so it's great to see Dr Bloomfield today telling the country we've had over 2000 health workers say they will come out of retirement to support our efforts," she said.

"Whether or not it's helping with healthline or just the cause generally, all of that frees up other health workers to help us."

Ms Ardern says New Zealand has doubled its capacity for intensive care unit (ICU) and high dependency units as well as obtaining more ventilators for them.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) says so far, more than 2500 healthcare workers, including 606 nurses, 587 doctors, 58 midwives and 203 medical laboratory scientists have signed up - and the number continues to grow.

MOH is also asking to hear from current health and care workers who may now be available as non-essential services are paused.

They are seeking people to work in both general and clinically specialised roles as New Zealand scales up the health and care workforce. 

Coronavirus cases in New Zealand rises by 85, with one person in intensive care

The call to action comes as a further 85 cases of Covid-19 were announced in the country today, making a total of 368.