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53 NZ Covid-19 cases - Community transmission possible

Mar 21, 2020

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says there are 14 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, and the ministry cannot rule out community transmission.

The new cases bring the total to 53 confirmed, and four probable cases.

Three of NZ's confirmed cases are in hospital and all are a stable condition.

Of the new cases in the past 24 hours, Bloomfield says the two cases not linked to travel are one in Auckland and one in the greater Wellington region.

The person in the Wairarapa is symptomatic, which is why the clinician decided to test, Bloomfield says.

They are now investigating whether these people have had close contact with anyone who has travelled overseas, he says.

"In the case of the Wairarapa [person], we can't rule out the risk of community transmission."

Bloomfield said testing had ramped up as practitioners have identified people who needed testing. Yesterday, 1500 people were tested.

The Ministry of Health says they cannot rule out community transmission of Covid-19


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