The region hit hardest: A statistical look at Southern cases

A week into lockdown we take a look at the age, sex and location makeup of Covid-19 cases in the Southern District Health Board area.


Yesterday there were ten new cases in the SDHB area, bringing the total number of cases to 108 - the most cases by DHB area followed by Auckland DHB with 104 and Waitemata with 98.

Graphic: NZ Herald
Graphic: NZ Herald

Before becoming the DHB area with the highest total number of cases, SDHB had the highest number of cases per population. The cases per head of population have continued to climb in relation to other DHB areas, as the three DHB areas with the next highest total cases (Auckland, Waitemata and Waikato) all have higher populations than the SDHB area.

Cases by age

In the South the age makeup of cases largely follows a national pattern where those in the 20 to 29 age bracket have the most cases. The youngest person included in the SDHB statistics is a 1 to 4-year-old girl who is listed as a probable case.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday fired a warning to young people who thought they were less susceptible to Covid-19 and might have a more relaxed attitude to lockdown.

The 20- to 29-year-old age group was "far and away" the most affected by Covid-19, she said, and they could infect more vulnerable people.

"They are our vector for transmission."

Data from Ministry of Health
Data from Ministry of Health

Cases by location

Queenstown followed by Dunedin makeup most of the cases in the South, but the number in Invercargill has climbed from 9 to 18 in the last two days. Queenstown cases  climbed by seven in two days to 38  and Dunedin by five new cases.

Cases by sex

Like in the rest of New Zealand more females than males have caught Covid-19 in the SDHB area.

Southern clusters

A major cause of transmission across New Zealand are clusters of cases linked to events, travel groups, workplaces and locations. The South has two clusters - the World Hereford Conference, held from March 9 to 13, and a wedding held in Bluff on March 21.

Both have contributed to the overall number of cases in the SDHB area, but not all the cases linked to the two events have tested positive. About 400 people from across New Zealand and around the world went to the Hereford conference in Queenstown.

And the owner of a Bluff restaurant at the centre of a Covid-19 cluster says the 70 wedding guests were from out of town.

The number of cases linked to the wedding climbed by 14 yesterday and the number of cases linked to the conference climbed by three.

With NZ Herald



If it is true that corona virus likes to be cold, damp and in the dark, then the south of NZ in the winter would seem to be an excellent habitat for it, especially if people stay inside with the doors and windows shut to try to keep warm. Airing your home as often as possible in winter when the sun is out or even just when the wind is blowing is always a good idea anyway and so is dehumidifying your home. It’s easier and cheaper to heat dry air than damp. Expert opinion on this would be welcome.






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