15 new cases of Covid-19; total now 1401

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Update from the Ministry of Health

From the Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield 

April 16, 2020

Today New Zealand’s total number of Covid-19 cases has increased by 15, made up of 6 new confirmed cases and 9 new probable cases.

There are no further deaths to report. The death toll remains at nine.

There are now 770 reported cases of Covid-19 who have recovered – an increase of 42 on yesterday.

The new combined total of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand is 1401.

Today there are 12 people in hospital. The total includes three people in ICU – one each in Middlemore, Dunedin and North Shore hospitals.

Two of these ICU patients – in North Shore and Dunedin – are in a critical condition.

As of today, just 4 per cent of cases are now classified as under investigation.

We have done some further analysis on the 23 cases between March 24 and yesterday still categorised as “origin unknown”.

We have been able to confirm that five of these have overseas exposure and 13 are contacts of a confirmed case including some linked to known clusters or to people who have travelled back from overseas.

Four of the cases are classed as community acquired and continue to be thoroughly investigated. Just one case, which is from yesterday, is still under active investigation.

In this instance the local Public Health officials have undertaken extensive interviews with the case.

In addition, contact tracing around the case has taken place and we have asked for extensive testing of close and casual contacts.

A total of 3661 tests were processed yesterday, with a rolling seven-day average of 2714 and total tests to date of 70,160.

Some specific targeted sentinel testing is now underway, for example this morning in Queenstown, 300 supermarket workers and shoppers were tested. This will help inform our knowledge on community transmission.

These testing numbers also include two new labs which have come online — Medlab Central (Palmerston North) and Nelson Marlborough lab both started testing yesterday.

There are again 16 significant clusters – no change from yesterday.  Eleven more cases have been connected to clusters.

Finally, in the case of the death in the Southern District Health Board, there is now a post mortem process underway. We will provide further information once we have the results.