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9 new cases of Covid-19; death toll now 12

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Covid-19 update from the Ministry of Health
April 19, 2020

Today New Zealand’s total number of Covid-19 cases has increased by nine, made up of four new confirmed cases and five new probable cases.

All of our cases today are linked to confirmed cases.

The new combined total of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand is 1431.

There are now 912 reported cases of Covid-19 who have recovered – an increase of 45 on yesterday.

Today there are 18 people in hospital with Covid-19. The total includes three people in ICU – one each in Middlemore, Dunedin and North Shore hospitals.

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

There are still 16 significant clusters – no change from yesterday while 12 more cases have been connected to clusters.

Yesterday 4146 Covid-19 tests were processed. The rolling seven-day average is 3151, and 83,224 total tests have been processed to date.

Stock in supply for testing is now over 90,000 complete tests.

Today we are also confirming that the death of a man in his 70s at home in Invercargill on Tuesday evening is now being confirmed as related to Covid-19.

We extend our sincerest sympathies to his family and ask that their privacy is respected.

New Zealand now has 12 Covid-19 related deaths.

Community testing
Over the weekend, there have been specific efforts around wider community testing by public health and primary care.

Yesterday, Waitemata DHB had test sites at two supermarket locations in Auckland. They report 442 samples tested – no positives from 368 results in.

This is a similar pattern to results from areas such as Queenstown and Waikato, in communities chosen based on advice from the EPI TAG group.

These results provide us with some assurance that  no undetected transmission is occurring in these communities.

Targeted community testing will continue to be part of our ongoing surveillance against Covid-19.

Healthcare workers affected
We have 131 health care workers who are confirmed or probable for Covid-19.  A total of 43 have recovered.

The largest categories are nurses with 42 cases; care givers with 24 cases and 21 support functions roles.

Of our total cases 50 per cent were infected in the workplace – either from colleagues, patients or residents.

When we analysed these cases late last week, the indicators were that a relatively small number of cases involved healthcare workers being infected by transmission from a patient or resident. We continue to keep a close eye on this and the infection of healthcare workers generally.

The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield closed his remarks at today’s update with a thank you to public health staff across the country who are working tirelessly to identify and manage cases.

‘This work is particularly critical to our ongoing ability to manage Covd-19 in New Zealand,’ says Dr Bloomfield.

Ngâ mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa. He waka eke noa.

‘Heartfelt thanks to you all. We are in this waka together.’

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