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New Zealand

Nine new COVID-19 cases as lockdown decision nears

April 20, 2020 12:24 pm
Testing for the coronavirus. [Source: RNZ]

Seven of the cases are confirmed and two are probable.

Fourteen people are in hospital, three in ICU – one each in Middlemore, Dunedin and North Shore hospitals. Two of the ICU patients are in a critical condition.

They bring New Zealand’s total to 1440, an increase of nine from yesterday’s 1431 cases.

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The country’s death toll remains at 12, after confirmation yesterday that an Invercargill man who died more than a week ago, was suffering from COVID-19. He is believed to be the first person to die at home from the virus.

A total of 974 people have now recovered from the virus – an increase of 62 on yesterday.

Four of the cases are being investigated for links to confirmed cases, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

There are still 16 significant clusters – no change from yesterday. One additional case has been added to one of the clusters.

The ministry said yesterday 3081 tests were processed. To date 86,305 tests have been processed.

The latest update was released via a statement from the Ministry of Health as the countdown continues on whether the country will move out of the alert level 4 lockdown and when the move into alert level 3 will take effect.

Yesterday Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield also announced nine new COVID-19 cases.

Over the weekend, there were a number of efforts around wider community testing by public health and primary care, the ministry said.

It said Waitemata DHB had test sites at two supermarket locations in Mangere and Henderson on Saturday. Over 400 samples were taken and have now come back with negative results.

Cabinet is meeting to make its decision and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due to make an announcement at 4pm.

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