7 new cases in South, widespread area of possible contact


There are at least seven new cases of Covid-19 in the Southern district today.

And in a statement issued tonight, the Southern District Health Board has revealed a raft of locations where the public may have come into contact with a virus that has forced a nationwide lockdown from midnight.

There are now officially 19 Southern district cases of coronavirus - 18 confirmed and one probable. All cases had resulted in mild illness, the DHB said.

• If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs)

The SDHB advised that Covid-19 cases had - between March 14 and March 24 - visited: Central Dunedin, South Dunedin, North Dunedin, Mornington, Central Christchurch, Mosgiel, Green Island, Queenstown, Cromwell and Alexandra.

There was also a low-risk of contact due to a bus tour from March 12 to March 18 that toured Christchurch, Omarama, Dunedin, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown, and Fox Glacier.

Outram Rugby field was identified as another low-risk contact point on March 14.

And two flights were identified: Dubai to Auckland EK448 on March 21 and Auckland to Dunedin NZ677 on March 23.

The SDHB confirmed an earlier Ministry of Health announcement of four new Otago cases - but could not confirm three cases announced by Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan this afternoon, who said he was told about the positive tests after 9am, the cut-off for cases included in the ministry’s daily updates.

"Two Dunedin women in their 20s, a Queenstown woman in her 30s, and a Wanaka man in his 20s have tested positive for Covid-19,’’ the SDHB said in a statement.

"Additional cases in Otago were also confirmed today, but no details are available at this stage. They will be included on the Ministry of Health website tomorrow."

Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield earlier today referred to the World Hereford Conference in Queenstown as a ‘‘cluster’’ of cases; this evening the SDHB said attendees ‘‘have more extensive contacts that are now being followed up’’.

CENTRAL OTAGO 

Central Otago District Mayor Tim Cadogan has announced three cases in the region.

The three are the first confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Central Otago since testing began, with one case each in Roxburgh, Cromwell, and Alexandra.

"This is a statement I was hoping I would not need to make and that I know will cause further concern to you.

"I am letting you know as soon as possible that the Southern District Health Board has confirmed three positive Covid-19 cases in Central Otago.

"None of the cases are thought to be of community transmission," Mr Cadogan said.

The Otago Daily Times is seeking clarification on whether the three Central Otago cases are in addition to the four announced earlier today, but appears they may have tested positive after 9am, which is the cut-off time for cases to be included in the Ministry's daily briefing at 1pm.

So far the travel details have only been released for one of the four Southern cases announced by the Ministry of Health, a Dunedin woman in her 20s who flew from London via Dubai to Auckland on March21  – Flight EK448 - and from Dunedin to Auckland on March 23 - flight NZ677.

NATIONAL TALLY

Nationally, the Ministry of Health said today there were  47 new confirmed cases and three probable cases bringing the total number of confirmed and probable cases to 205. 

The location with the largest number of new cases was Auckland, with 18, while there were five new cases in Canterbury.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there were five community cases related to Auckland's Marist College.

The cases connected with the school and the cases connected with the World Hereford Conference in Queenstown, were both being treated as "clusters", Dr  Bloomfield said.

Staff and students from that college should not have contact with other people, Bloomfield said, and they should also keep their distance from people in their own households.

"We do have some community transmission in New Zealand."

Four were confirmed and number of other cases were being treated a potentially community transmission.

Six people are in hospital in a stable condition, one in Rotorua, two in Waikato and three in Wellington. None of those patients are in intensive care.

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

There were 1400 tests processed yesterday, bringing the total number of tests so far to 9780.

Dr Bloomfield said there would continue to be a rise in the number of cases for 10 days, and they would only "turn around" if people followed lockdown rules.

"That turn around will happen if all New Zealanders do what is being asked of them."

Countdown Central Dunedin supermarket became so congested yesterday that security staff controlled entry to the store. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

Yesterday, panic buying continued across the South; the deadline for domestic travel was extended as Kiwis tried to rush home; and a six-month mortgage holiday was announced for those whose incomes are affected by New Zealand’s response to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The nationwide lockdown to restrict transmission of the virus that has killed more than 16,000 people around the world begins today at 11.59pm.

Acting district commander Inspector Darryl Sweeney said police would increase their visibility in the community for the month-long lockdown to provide reassurance but were also working with the owners of businesses to provided added security.

Insp Sweeney said police would take action if required to ensure people behaved responsibly, including seeing people did not travel unless it was essential to do so, but he said he hoped enforcement action would not be necessary.

Details of new cases:

189 Auckland 20s F Details to come
188 Auckland 40s F Details to come
187 Auckland 20s F Details to come
186 Auckland 20s M Details to come
185 Waitemata 60s M Details to come
184 Wellington 30s M Details to come
183 Wellington 30s M Details to come
182 Wellington 50s M Details to come
181 Wellington 60s F Details to come
180 Wellington 20s M Details to come
179 Wellington 60s M Details to come
178 Wellington 60s F Details to come
177 Wellington 40s M Linked to a group trip to New York
176 Wellington 50s F Linked to a group trip to New York
175 Wellington 50s F Linked to a group trip to New York
174 Marlborough 80s M Details to come
173 Bay of Plenty 60s F Details to come
172 Waitemata Teens F Details to come
171 Auckland 30s F Details to come
170 Auckland 20s F Details to come
169 Auckland 30s M Details to come
168 Auckland 50s M Details to come
167 Auckland 30s F Details to come
166 Auckland 20s M Details to come
165 Auckland 20s F Details to come
164 Auckland 30s M Details to come
163 Auckland 30s F Details to come
162 Auckland 50s F Details to come
161 Auckland 20s F Details to come
160 Auckland 40s M Details to come
159 Auckland 20s M Details to come
158 Dunedin 20s F Details to come
157 Canterbury 50s F Details to come
156 Wanaka 20s M Details to come
155 Queenstown 30s F Details to come
154 Waitemata 60s F Details to come
153 Auckland Teens F Details to come
152 Dunedin 20s F London via Dubai to Auckland on 21 March – Flight EK448, Auckland to Dunedin on 23 March flight NZ677
151 Wellington 50s M Linked to a group trip to New York. Houston to Auckland on 20 March – Flight NZ0029, Auckland to Wellington on 20 March – Flight NZ0407
150 Hamilton 30s F Dubai to Auckland on 22 March – Flight EK448, Auckland to Rotorua on 23 March – Flight NZ8155
149 Hamilton 40s F Under Investigation
148 Christchurch 50s M Sydney to Christchurch on 13 March – Flight EK412
147 Canterbury 50s M Linked to confirmed case
146 Christchurch 20s F London via Dubai and Sydney, arrived Christchurch 13 March – flight EK006
145 Wellington 40s F Linked to a confirmed case
144 Hamilton 50s F Under investigation
143 Christchurch 20s F San Francisco to Auckland, arrived 21 March – flight NZ7, Auckland to Christchurch on 21 March – NZ527

New probable cases:

16 TBC     
15 TBC     
14 Blenheim 20s M  

- additional reporting ODT Online 

Comments

World Conference was not clever.

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