Ministry of Health Covid-19 update
May 26, 2020
Once again, there are no new cases of Covid-19 to report in New Zealand today.
Our total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 remains at 1154, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
Our combined total of confirmed and probable cases remains at 1504.
Today we can report five new recovered cases taking the total to 1461. Only 22 cases remain active.
There are no additional deaths to report.
There remains one person receiving hospital-level care for Covid-19; they are in Middlemore and are not in ICU.
Yesterday our laboratories completed 1841 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 263,156.
NZ Covid Tracer app
The NZ Covid Tracer app has now recorded 405,000 registrations – that’s an increase of 25,000 since this time yesterday.
We continue to encourage as many people as possible to download the app – it will help us identify, trace, test and isolate any cases of Covid-19.
We also recognise the work being done by businesses to get their unique QR codes up and running, with 15,200 posters having been created as of this morning.
We’re continuing to make good progress in Level 2.
Our case numbers are low, our recovery rate is excellent and we have only one person still requiring hospital level care.
Hard work by all New Zealanders to reach this point meant that yesterday the Government was able to make an announcement around allowing gatherings of up to 100 people, while still remaining in Level 2.
This will mean that from Friday, many of the activities people have been looking forward to can resume, such as church and faith-based gatherings, family events and weddings.
With the exception of significant events such as large sporting fixtures, concerts and the like, it means most normal activities are now possible in some form under Level 2.
Some people are asking how quickly we can move onto Level 1 and whether we should be aiming to get there sooner.
It’s important to remember that New Zealand is already moving to relax restrictions more quickly than other countries.
We’re acutely aware that Level 2 restrictions do still impact on some businesses and on people’s lives and we want to be careful to get the balance right.
We are working hard already on the detail of what Alert Level 1 will look like so that New Zealand can move there as soon as it is safe to do so.
New Zealand’s Covid-19 vaccine strategy aims to secure a vaccine that is safe and effective, at the earliest possible time.
The development of a safe and effective vaccine is a crucial tool in the control of Covid-19 world-wide.
This strategy will ensure New Zealand goes all out to advance discovery, development, testing and supply of a vaccine.
It will enable our scientists to contribute to global research efforts and ensure New Zealand has detailed knowledge of international developments.
More information on the Covid-19 vaccine strategy announced today can be found on the MBIE website.
Quarantine and managed isolation
Last weekend saw the arrival of the 10,000th passenger into managed isolation or quarantine.
So far around 8000 people have completed their stay in Auckland or Christchurch and have returned home.
Their commitment to managed isolation is a commitment which will continue to support the health and safety of all New Zealanders.
The border is our riskiest area and is a critical part of the Government’s strategy to eliminate Covid-19, especially now that domestic cases are at such low levels.
We don’t want to put the good progress we’ve made in jeopardy and we know international arrivals are a potential source of new cases.
We’ve been very mindful of the advice in the recent High Court ruling and need to consider all requests for an exemption very carefully.
We do this as swiftly as possible.
While a number of exemptions have now been granted, every exemption creates greater risk. So exemptions are still only granted in exceptional circumstances.