Father-of-two taken off life support today was NZ's first Covid-19 death in over three months

Source: 1News

The Ministry of Health has announced a new Covid-19 death in Auckland this afternoon.

The man, identified to 1 NEWS by a relative as a 58-year-old Auckland-based Americold employee, died at Middlemore Hospital after family took him off life support this morning.

His case was linked to the ongoing Auckland community cluster.

It is the first Covid-19 related death in New Zealand since May 28, over three months ago.

The father-of-two, originally from Tokoroa, is the youngest person to have died from the virus in New Zealand.

According to the Ministry of Health, his wife has expressed the family’s gratitude to the Middlemore Hospital staff for their care and compassion.

The family member told 1 NEWS his wife and son are now at home after being in the Jet Park quarantine facility and his daughter remains in the facility. 

"[He] was a hard working family man who cared dearly for his children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews," the family member told 1 NEWS.

He was also an "avid Warriors league supporter".

He will be buried in Tokoroa early next week after an Auckland service. 

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield expressed condolences for the man's family.

"I acknowledge the anxiety New Zealanders may be feeling about today’s news, both in the wider community and also for the family and whānau grieving over this death," says the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

“Our thoughts are with his family and community at this time of loss and grief.

"We have always recognised that further deaths linked to Covid-19 were possible. Although the health system has done and will continue to do everything we can to prevent them, this can be a very challenging virus to treat and for some people to recover from.

"Today's news reinforces the importance of our shared vigilance against Covid-19, the very serious consequences the virus can carry with it, and the measures we all need to take to stop the spread, break any chain of transmission and prevent deaths."

The Prime Minister's office told 1 NEWS, "this is a reminder about how serious and deadly this virus is and how careful we have to be managing it."

This means the number of Covid-19 related deaths in New Zealand is now 23.