New Zealand confirms two more deaths from COVID-19 days after Jacinda Ardern declared that the country had beaten coronavirus
- New Zealand’s confirms another two deaths from the killer coronavirus
- A woman in her 90s died from the deadly coronavirus on Friday
- A man in his 70s died from COVID-19 in Christchurch on Saturday
- New Zealand’s coronavirus death toll now stands at four
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
New Zealand has confirmed two more deaths from COVID-19.
A man in his 70s who tested positive for COVID-19 on April 9 died in Burnwood Hospital in Christchurch on Saturday bringing the country’s death toll to four.
The man was one of 20 who was transferred from Rosewood to Burnwood and contracted the deadly disease.
His death came after a woman in her 90s also died from the killer virus on Friday. She also had underlying health conditions.
‘Today’s news reinforces our move to alert level 4,’ Ministry of Health’s Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay said.
‘As we have said previously, this can be a very serious disease… We want you to know that our health system will do everything it can to support the fight against COVID-19.’
‘Today’s news reinforces our move to alert level 4,’ Ministry of Health’s Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay (pictured) said
An investigation is underway into the cluster of elderly people who contracted the deadly virus from Rosewood Resthome and Hospital.
The deaths come after Ms Ardern hailed New Zealanders on Thursday for mounting a ‘wall of defence’ that was ‘breaking the chain of transmission’ after the country moved quickly to impose a lockdown.
The PM said the country was already ‘turning a corner’ just six weeks after the epidemic reached New Zealand.
Lockdown measures could be softened in just over a week, Ms Ardern said, opening the door for some people to return to work if their employers can ensure social distancing.
New Zealand only confirmed its first case on February 26, but had shut its borders by March 19 and started imposing a full-scale lockdown on March 26.
On Thursday, Ms Ardern praised New Zealanders for ‘saving lives’ by obeying government rules in the first half of a four-week lockdown.
‘At the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge,’ she said.
‘In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, Kiwis have quietly and collectively implemented a nationwide wall of defence.
‘You are breaking the chain of transmission. And you did it for each other.’
On Thursday, Ms Ardern praised New Zealanders for ‘saving lives’ by obeying government rules in the first half of a four-week lockdown
A sign telling New Zealanders to ‘stay home’ is displayed by the side of a road in Wellington today
Warning against complacency, she added: ‘As we head in to Easter I say thank you to you and your bubble.
‘We have what we need to win this marathon. You have stayed calm, you’ve been strong, you’ve saved lives, and now we need to keep going.’
Ms Ardern says her government will decide on April 20 whether to extend or relax the lockdown, which is currently due to expire at midnight on April 22.
New Zealand is currently at its highest Alert Level 4, but Ms Ardern said ministers could decide to move it down to Level 3.
Under Level 3, people are not generally ordered to stay at home, although public buildings would still be shut and mass gatherings cancelled.
Travel would be limited ‘in areas with clusters or community transmission’ rather than generally, and ‘some non-essential businesses should close’ rather than all of them.
Police in New Zealand are seen stopping vehicles on the state highway at Warkworth on Thursday (pictured), ensuring those travelling are doing so for essential reasons