Woman in her 90s becomes second person to die of coronavirus in New Zealand

A second person in New Zealand has died after contracting Covid-19.

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The woman, aged in her 90s, died in Burwood Hospital in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS

A woman in her 90s died at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch yesterday. She was one of 20 residents at Rosewood Rest Home where there was a cluster of cases, who were transferred to the hospital. How the cluster began at the rest home is being investigated.

Due to the level four lockdown restrictions, no family were able to visit the woman who died yesterday before her death or were present when she died.

The death follows the death of a woman in her 70s on the West Coast, who died of Covid-19 on March 29.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay said hospital staff supported the "elderly frail woman" though. She also had age related health conditions.

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The woman in her 90s died at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch yesterday after being moved from the Rosewood rest home earlier this week. Source: 1 NEWS

The news comes as 44 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand were confirmed today, made up of 23 confirmed cases and 21 probable cases. Fourteen of the new cases were linked to existing clusters.

The total number of cases in New Zealand is now 1283.

There are now 16 people in hospitals throughout the country with Covid-19. They are in Wellington, Counties Manakau, Waitemata and Southern DHBs.

Four people are in intensive care, two of whom are in a critical condition.

While numbers had been tracking down in recent days, Dr McElnay said the rise in people with the virus shows "we're not out of the woods".

"I think it just confirms that we can't be complacent about the numbers we're seeing. I think we are generally heading in the right direction and that is really affirming to see that, but it very much emphasises that we're not out of the woods."

Numbers are expected to go up and down in the short term due to ongoing spread in clusters where people had attended events before the lockdown, she said.

Dr McElnay said there was still a "strong but declining link" to overseas travel, with 40 per cent of total confirmed cases linked to overseas travel. 

Forty-four per cent of the total Covid-19 cases in New Zealand are linked to already confirmed cases, while community transmission makes up two per cent of cases and 14 per cent are still under investigation.

There are 12 significant clusters in New Zealand.