Ministry of Health Covid-19 update
From Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield
April 21, 2020
Today New Zealand’s total number of Covid-19 cases has increased by five, made up of two new confirmed cases and three new probable cases. All of these are linked to existing cases.The new combined total of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand is 1445.
Sadly, today we are reporting the death of a woman in her 70s with Covid-19. The woman was one of the six residents from St Margaret’s Hospital and Rest Home in Te Atatu, who had been transferred to Waitakere Hospital on April 17. The woman, who had an underlying health condition, died yesterday. Our thoughts are with this woman’s family and friends, and we ask that their privacy continues to be respected at this difficult time.
The death toll in New Zealand now stands at 13.
Residents were transferred from St Margaret’s as a number of staff are in precautionary self-isolation following close contact with people who are confirmed as having Covid-19, which has impacted the facility’s ability to maintain a full staffing roster.
Another nine residents from St Margaret’s were transferred to North Shore Hospital on April 18. These residents are not Covid-19 positive but are considered close contacts.
There are now 1006 reported cases of Covid-19 who have recovered – an increase of 32 on yesterday.
Today there are 12 people in hospital with Covid-19. The total includes three people in ICU – one each in Middlemore, Dunedin and North Shore hospitals. We have no patients in a critical condition today.
There are still 16 significant clusters. Four more cases of Covid-19 have been connected to clusters. There are eight clusters that haven’t had a new case reported in the last seven days.
Yesterday 3203 Covid-19 tests were processed with the new total tested to date of 89,508. The rolling seven-day average is 3587, with a testing capacity of 7783. Stock in supply for testing is now over 83,000 complete tests.
This week we are continuing with community testing. This is where we test groups in the community in areas where there might be undetected cases based on things like if there have been cases present already or workplaces where public presence is high.
This week we are also focusing on ensuring we test in Maori and Pacific communities. We know our test rates for Maori and Pacific people are 16.1 per cent and 8.2 per cent of our total tests respectively. But we are also keen that we reach into these communities even further.
This week we have community testing clinics that will be run in Taranaki, Northland and Tairawhiti. Local public health testing staff in Tairawhiti started in Gisborne on Monday and this week will continue thorough the East Coast. They had 53 people in the clinic yesterday and will be running the clinic each day this week around Gisborne.
Tairawhiti is also doing testing around the East Coast starting at Potaka and Hicks Bay today and then Te Araroa, Tikitiki and Ruatoria in the remainder of the week. They estimate that around 50 per cent of those being tested are Maori. It is a mobile testing unit so that we can go to the community.