Two new cases of community transmission in NZ

Two new cases of possible community transmission of Covid-19 have been confirmed by the Ministry of Health overnight. That brings the total number of community transmission cases to four, ahead of an impending lockdown on Wednesday night.

The new cases of likely community transmission were both in Auckland, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said. One of them was in Orewa, but Bloomfield couldn't say where the other was.

Bloomfield told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that, in addition to the two new cases of community transmission, there were 38 new cases related to overseas travel or other confirmed cases and three probable cases where tests came back negative but the Ministry was treating them as if they had Covid-19 anyway.

That brings the total number of Covid-19 cases - probable and confirmed - to 155 since the first case arrived on February 28. Of these, 12 have recovered.

None of New Zealand's cases so far have required intensive care and just six are currently in hospital. Overseas, high rates of intensive care need have overwhelmed health systems and led to high death rates. Newsroom reported last week that New Zealand doesn't have the ICU capacity to deal with a major outbreak.

Read more of Newsroom's Covid-19 coverage here. 

Covid-19 is transmitted like the flu. The Ministry of Health recommends that all New Zealanders wash their hands frequently and refrain from touching their face in order to protect themselves and others. Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms and have been to any countries or territories of concern or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with Covid-19.

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