Covid-19 milestone reached

Dr Ashley Bloomfield thanked everyone who had been tested and those doing the testing for playing...
Dr Ashley Bloomfield thanked everyone who had been tested and those doing the testing for playing their part in ensuring our communities don't have undetected cases of Covid-19. Photo: Getty Images
New Zealand has today reached a Covid-19 milestone, recording 100 days since the last case of community transmission of the virus.

Health boss Dr Ashley Bloomfield thanked everyone who has been tested, but warned Kiwis can't become complacent. 

The Ministry of Health this afternoon confirmed there are no new cases of the coronavirus to report in New Zealand.

"It has been 100 days since the last case of Covid-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source."

No additional cases are reported as having recovered, so there are still 23 active cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation facilities, the ministry said.

New Zealand’s number of confirmed cases of  coronavirus remains at 1219. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier said 100 days would be a milestone, but it didn't minimise the risk in any way, given the ongoing pandemic around the world.

"We need to be vigilant."

She said there was a resurgence plan ready to roll out if there was a surge in cases in New Zealand.

On Saturday, laboratories processed 4249 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 494,481. There were 542 swabs taken in managed isolation and quarantine facilities yesterday, the Ministry of Health said.

"Pop-up testing centres run by District Health Boards continue to be well-attended, with very encouraging numbers of people coming forward to be tested for Covid-19."

On Friday there were 133 people swabbed over a two-hour period at New World in New Plymouth. The testing centre in Manurewa had 153 people swabbed yesterday, and 326 people were tested yesterday at the pop-up clinic in Christchurch.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield thanked every person who had been tested and those doing the testing for playing their part in ensuring our communities do not have undetected cases of Covid-19.

“Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can't afford to be complacent.

“We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand.

“Every person in the team of five million has a role to play in this.

“Seek advice from your GP or Healthline on getting a test if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and stay at home if you are unwell. Keep a record of your movements so you can refer to them for contact tracing if required.”

“Don’t let the team down – none of us can afford to do that,” Dr Bloomfield said. 

Earlier this week, Dr Bloomfield demonstrated how to correctly use a face mask during a Facebook Live video session, while Health Minister Chris Hipkins warned if the country was ever to return to alert level 2, New Zealanders would be encouraged to wear masks in situations where they couldn't physically distance, such as on public transport.

- ODT Online 



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