March 25 - 50 new cases, 205 total

by Peter Newport - Mar 25, 2020

The Ministry of Health has announced 50 new Covid-19 cases bringing the national total to 205.

There are 5 cases being classified as community transmission.

So far there have been 9,781 Covid-19 tests carried out, 1,421 yesterday.

Six people are currently in hospital, all in a stable condition and none in intensive care. No mention was made of anyone hospitalised in the Queenstown area, suggesting that the Spanish man in his 60's, a confirmed Covid-19 case, has been discharged.

The SDHB has told Crux that while there are no intensive care or high dependency units at Queenstown's Lakes District Hospital has one ventilator unit and one back up. Lakes District Hospital has one negative pressure room to isolate Covid-19 cases.

More details will follow later today. Here's is the Ministry of Health's full media release.

"There are 50 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand as at 9.30 am this morning.

There were 47 confirmed and 3 probable cases in the past 24 hours.

In probable cases, the person has returned a negative laboratory result but the clinician treating the person has diagnosed them as a probable case due to their exposure history and clinical symptoms.  We have had 16 probable cases to date.

Probable cases are treated as if they were a positive laboratory confirmed case and the actions taken are the same as for confirmed cases - that is self-isolation and active contact tracing.

Therefore, our combined total of confirmed and probable cases is 205.  We will continue to report the total combined confirmed and probable cases each day.

More details of the new cases, including the probable cases, will be provided via our website shortly and updated as new details emerge.

There are 22 individuals that we can confirm are recovered.  We will update this number daily.

We have six people in hospital with COVID-19 - all in a stable condition.  There are three in Wellington hospital, one in Rotorua and two in Waikato.  None are in ICU.

Three patients treated for COVID-19 were discharged yesterday, one each from Lakes District hospital in Queenstown, Waikato and Thames hospitals.

Our laboratories are working to process and report test results as quickly as possible.  Yesterday we processed 1421 tests around the country.  The total number of tests processed to date is 9780.
Anyone who has been tested is expected to be in strict self-isolation until advised of the result of their test – that means effectively quarantining themselves from other members of their family.

We continue to test people who need to be tested.

Our public health staff actively investigate every case they are notified about.

What we are seeing is that the majority still have a link to overseas travel, including being in the same household as someone who has returned from overseas, or they have attended a known event or cluster of other cases (eg, World Hereford cattle conference in Queenstown or recent cruise ship travel) or are close contacts of a confirmed case

Public health staff work fast to follow up clusters of confirmed cases from events.

We have now five confirmed cases within one school in Auckland – Marist College.  The school is closed and has been closed all week.  All students and staff are being managed as close contacts.  That means they are expected to be in monitored self-quarantine for the next 14 days or 14 days since last contact with each other.  

Staff and students should not congregate with anyone outside their home, and keep their physical distance from those within their household for this period.

There are a number of staff members who are being tested or are about to be tested, as they have symptoms.

 All confirmed case are in self-isolation.  The school has been closed since Monday.

We have community transmission in New Zealand, confirmed in four cases and suspected in other cases we are investigating.

We move tonight to Alert level 4.  We will see a rise in cases for the next ten days, from people infected before today.  The numbers will continue to increase before they turn around.  That turnaround will happen if we all do what is asked of us.  If we all play our part we will break the chain of community transmission. This will require all our efforts and I strongly urge all New Zealanders to play their part.

Stay at home, break the chain of transmission, save lives.

I encourage all New Zealanders, as we move to Alert level 4, in particular to look after themselves and to look after others."


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