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1:00pm, Sunday 5 April

Today there are 89 new cases, and no additional deaths

That brings our total cases to 1039.

156 people have recovered.

15 people are in hospital, with three of them in intensive care, two of those in a critical condition.

  • 45% of the cases are linked to overseas travel
  • 36% are close contacts of someone else with Covid-19
  • 1% are community transmission
  • 18% under investigation and it’s expected many of these cases will be community transmission

3939 tests were processed yesterday.

There are 12 significant clusters (groups of more than 10 cases considered to be from the same source). The largest of those come from a wedding in Bluff (58 cases), an event at a Matamata bar (56 cases), and at Marist College in Auckland (66 cases).

The Prime Minister says the number of new cases each day has remained “relatively steady” (between 60 to 90 new cases per day for the last week). “We haven't seen the exponential growth that other [countries] have, the kind that leads to an overwhelmed health system.”

Health modelling showed we had the potential to have as many as 4000 cases this weekend if preventative measures weren’t taken. The Prime Minister said being at just over 1000 cases “shows the difference that cumulative action can make…. 3000 fewer people sick, 3000 fewer passing the virus onto others and others.”

The Prime Minister says despite the huge economic impact of lockdown, it is the best move for both the health and finance of the country. She says a strategy that sacrifices people to attempt to help the economy would have both “loss of life and prolonged economic pain.”

“The lockdown is the best thing to stop the virus and also the best thing for the economy. Be proud of your efforts.” 

“Those who have lost jobs, businesses making difficult decisions, I know there is real and genuine struggle in New Zealand right now, and I don't carry that lightly.”

Historically, the Prime Minister says, countries who acted early to save lives were the least affected economically in pandemics. “Those who worked to stem the spread did better economically.”

The Prime Minister says most New Zealanders are doing a great job of staying home, but “there are some who I would charitably describe as idiots”, including a Christchurch man who filmed himself coughing at people in a supermarket. The man has been charged with endangering life and will appear in court tomorrow.

Finally, the Prime Minister has reminded New Zealanders that with the change of daylight saving, and with so many of us staying at home, now is a great time to check your smoke alarms.




1:00pm, Saturday 4 April

New Zealand has 82 new cases of Covid-19. We have got through another day without any more deaths.

Our total number of cases is 950. 

127 people who have had the virus are now recovered. 

The number of people in hospital has decreased from 13 to 10. One of those remains in intensive care in Wellington Hospital. All patients are in a stable condition. 

There were 3631 tests done yesterday, the highest number of tests carried out in one day so far. New Zealand has conducted 33,116 tests in total and capacity has increased to over 6000 tests per day.

The number of cases globally has reached one million. 60,000 people have died worldwide. 

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay said Healthline’s 24/7 helpline has increased capacity and wait times are now about five minutes. 14,700 calls were made to the service yesterday and Dr McElnay encouraged people to call in with Covid-19 or any other health related queries. 



3:00pm, Friday 3 April

New laws have been introduced to help businesses facing insolvency due to Covid-19. Insolvency is when a business isn’t able to pay back debt, or when their total debt is more than the value of their assets. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced the changes to the Companies Act. Businesses affected by Covid-19 will be able to:

  • Place existing debt into hibernation, as long as 50% of creditors (the people owed money) agree
  • Company directors can have a “safe harbour” from insolvency duties
  • Extending deadlines for company meetings and annual returns

“It is inevitable that some businesses are going to go into liquidation, but these measures provide an accessible and pragmatic means of helping some businesses to weather the storm, in a way that does as little harm as possible to their creditors’ interests,” the Finance Minister said.

“Hold onto your people, give them the wage subsidy, don't make rash decisions during this time, and have a plan for coming out the other side.”


1:00pm, Friday 3 April

Today there are 71 new cases, and no additional deaths. 

That brings our total to 868 cases.

103 people have recovered.

13 people are in hospital, with 1 of those in a stable condition in intensive care.

  • 49% of the cases are linked to overseas travel
  • 33% are close contacts of someone else with Covid-19
  • 1% are community transmission

17% are under investigation and it’s expected many will be community transmission

There are an average of 2000 tests being done a day, with a total of 29,485 tests done so far.

There was an all-time high of 3446 tests done yesterday, and there’s the capacity to do over 5000 tests a day.

The current criteria for being a recovered case is:

  • At least 10 days since symptoms began
  • At least 48 hours symptom-free
  • There’s no requirement for someone to have a negative test to be considered recovered

There are currently 135 New Zealanders who have recently arrived from overseas in quarantine.


3:00pm, Thursday 2 April

Essential workers will be entitled to paid leave in a new scheme announced by the Prime Minister. Workers in essential industries who need to take leave due to being in a risk group, needing sick leave or having vulnerable family members at home, will now be able to be paid at the same rate as the wage subsidy scheme - $585 a week for full time workers, and $350 a week for part-time workers. 

$4.5 billion has been paid out by the wage subsidy scheme to over 750,000 New Zealanders, 115,000 of whom are self-employed

There have been 13,000 new applications for the wage subsidy scheme since yesterday.

Foreigners who are getting on international flights home are now allowed to travel domestically to get to an international airport. The Prime Minister has announced that foreigners will be able to catch domestic flights or travel by land if they have an international flight out of New Zealand within a 24-hour window. Any other type of travel around New Zealand is not permitted.

A new government Whatsapp channel has been created to give New Zealanders daily updates. It was created instead of a specialised Covid-19 app, the Prime Minister says, because many New Zealanders already have the Whatsapp app installed on their phones.


2:00pm, Thursday 2 April

Here are today's numbers in infographics:

1:00pm, Thursday 2 April

Today there are 89 new cases, and no additional deaths. 

That brings our total to 797 cases.

92 people have recovered.

13 people are in hospital, with 2 of those in stable conditions in intensive care.

  • 51% of the cases are linked to overseas travel
  • 31% are close contacts of someone else with Covid-19
  • 1% are community transmission
  • 17% are still being investigated, and it’s expected that many of these will be community transmission

2563 tests were done yesterday, bringing the total number of Covid-19 tests to 26,000.

41 million additional face masks have been ordered from overseas that will arrive from next week.