Why New Zealand's Covid-19 death rate remains low compared to other countries

Source: 1News

It's halfway through the nationwide coronavirus lockdown and experts are continuing to study New Zealand's cases to see if the curve is flattening.

Despite the number of cases surpassing 1200, New Zealand's death rate remains low compared to other countries.

Only one person has died from Covid-19 in the country.

"I think this is very encouraging for the effort of New Zealanders to really follow the guidelines and really stamp out the remaining chains of transmission in this country," epidemiologist Dr Michael Baker told 1 NEWS.

Compared to other countries with similar case numbers, Estonia has over 1100 cases and 21 deaths and in Morocco, where cases are at the same level, 90 people have died.

So why is New Zealand's death toll so low by comparison?

"We're really seeing an infection at the moment that's in young travellers who are young and fit, and they do well when they have this infection on average," Dr Baker says.

Limited community spread is also proving to be a factor.

Statistician Shaun Hendry is one of the experts modelling the spread of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

He says while our case numbers appear to have stagnated this past fortnight, next week will be crucial to see how effective lockdown has been.

"Next week is absolutely crucial as we head into the difficult third week, we all start to go stir crazy at home, but that's when we should see good numbers come back if we've been successful," he told 1 NEWS.

"I think simply that we're well within the capacity of the healthcare system, because we haven't seen the exponential growth means we're managing cases really well."

He's watching the data closely for a sign of what's to come.