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Just two new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in the southern region yesterday - one of the lowest daily increases in some days.
Neither case was linked to the Bluff wedding cluster, an event which has been connected to 87 cases of coronavirus.
One southern region patient remains in intensive care in a critical condition - in Dunedin Hospital.
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The decline in the number of southern cases came as New Zealand recorded its second Covid-19 death, a woman in her 90s, who died in Christchurch yesterday.
Overall, New Zealand has 1283 confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19; the region with the highest number of cases remains southern, with 202.
The Canterbury region recorded the highest number of new cases today, 16, taking that area's total to 135.
"What we are seeing with the recent cases linked to the Bluff wedding is that these are cases occurring in the households of people who were in the event," Dr McElnay said.
"But that next generation has been able to be contained because it has been within those households . . . had we not been in Level 4 lockdown we would have expected more cases as a result of those individuals who had been at the wedding returning back to their normal places of work and communities.
"This is exactly the reason why we have a Level 4 lockdown, it enables us to restrict the interactions of those people.’’
Many of the "Bluff’’ cases were actually patients in other parts of New Zealand who had either been to the wedding or were in close contact with someone who had been, Dr McElnay said.
"Bluff is one that we would expect to see very quickly being contained without any further increases.’’