New Zealand's number of coronavirus cases rises to 28

Source: 1News

The total number of Covid-19 coronavirus cases in New Zealand has risen to 28, with eight new cases confirmed today.

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield confirmed the news.

One of the confirmed cases from Southland is now on their way to Dunedin hospital while the remaining seven new cases are in self-isolation. 

Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says the new cases are spread across the country.

He says there's "no evidence of wider community transmission" with all the cases coming from people who've arrived in New Zealand from overseas.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield reinforced the Government's stance on social distancing, explaining it is "fundamental in preventing community transmission".

The new cases are spread across the country with two people in Southland having contracted Covid-19, two people in Taranaki, one person in Rotorua, two people in Auckland and one person in Northland.

Taranaki’s Public Health Unit confirmed a male and female both in their 40s, who have recent independent travel histories to Egypt,  tested positive for Covid-19. The pair are not a couple and neither attended the WOMAD festival.

Dr Bloomfield says the Ministry of Health is working to strengthen their the health sector workforce as they prepare for more coronavirus cases. 

"We are working to ensure ranges of care for New Zealanders from cradle to grave." 

The Government has also initiated a psychosocial response to help with Kiwi's mental wellbeing while in self-isolation. 

"It's not only important to look after our physical health but also our resilience and mental wellbeing."

Today's rise came after eight new cases were announced yesterday.

On Tuesday a student at Logan Park High School in Dunedin tested positive to coronavirus. Testing for that virus began on close contacts with that student and the school shut down.

According to Dr Bloomfield, most of the test results for close contacts at Logan Park School have come back negative and none of the new cases are school students. 

"So far, most of the tests have come back for the students and they are all negative. We’re just waiting for the last batch to go through, we’ll have those soon."

Dr Bloomfield says the government is focused on a long term preventative approach as 'we can't keep ourselves in lockdown for a year.'

"What we are planning for is a long term effort here because even if we successfully manage community transmission there are other countries that have cases still."

He says most of the earliest cases have since recovered from the illness and are no longer in self isolation. 

"Most of those earlier cases would be completely recovered now. Mostly the illness lasts for a few days we then ask them to stay in isolation for a period afterwards just to make sure they're not infectious"