A national state of emergency has been declared in New Zealand today as the number of new coronavirus cases has risen by 50. Government announces 50 new coronavirus cases as NZ prepares for lockdown.
It brings the total number of Covid-19 cases to 205.
Fronting media today Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health made the announcement. He said 47 of those are confirmed and three are probable cases.
Also fronting media was Sarah Stuart-Black, director of Civil Defence Emergency Management, who announced the state of emergency had been declared.
“The state of national emergency has been declared because of the unprecedented nature of this global pandemic and to ensure the Government has all the powers it needs to slow the spread of Covid-19 and reduce its impact,” said Ms Stuart-Black.
A nationwide mobile alert to all of New Zealand has also been introduced. Ms Stuart-Black said it will be issued between 6-7pm tonight to reinforce to New Zealanders how critical the lockdown is.
Dr Bloomfield said there are now 22 people that have recovered from Covid-19.
There are currently six people in hospital with Covid-19, all in a stable condition. Three are in Wellington regional hospital, one is in Rotorua and two in Waikato. None are in the intensive care unit.
Three patients with coronavirus were discharged from hospital yesterday.
Across the country there were 1421 tests processed yesterday.
The total number of tests processed to date is 9780.
Dr Bloomfield said the new cases reported today are actively being followed up by health authorities.
He said the majority of cases still have a direct link to overseas travel, including being in the same household as someone who has returned from overseas.
It comes as the country prepares to go into a four-week lockdown, effective tonight at 11.59pm.
Level four is put in place with a risk of sustained level of virus transmission. Contact between people is largely eliminated, the public urged to stay at home.
Essential services, including supermarkets, health care, service stations and media are all remaining in place during this time.
The lockdown period has been set for four weeks because it will take weeks for results to show given the lag between infection and people feeling ill.
More information is available on the Government’s Covid-19 website.