Covid-19

Covid-19 - NZ’s week in charts

How is New Zealand faring in during the Covid-19 pandemic? Newsroom's Farah Hancock takes a look at the latest numbers.

Closed borders

The borders closed to non-New Zealand citizens on March 19. Since then data from NZ Customs shows 11,474 people with non-New Zealand passports have arrived in the country by air. There are limited exceptions to the closure rule, and they can seek approval from Immigration New Zealand.

All arrivals must spend 14 days in quarantine facility and be symptom free for at lest 48 hours before they can leave the facility.

As long as some precautions have been taken overseas, New Zealand-based air crew are exempt from quarantine, as are grooms travelling with live horses.

Virus transmission

As cases are investigated the cause is noted. Travellers arriving in New Zealand who develop the disease are classed as 'imported cases'. If there's a case where no link can be found somebody else who has the virus and there's been no travel this is classed as locally acquired with an unknown source. Commonly this is known as community transmission and is a concern. An increase in these cases means the virus is circulating partly undetected within the community. 

How many tests does a country do to find one Covid-19 case?

The below chart looks at the number of tests each day divided by the number of confirmed cases each day. The data is collated by the Our World in Data and is smoothed by averaging daily figures over a rolling 7-day window. At present New Zealand is a clear leader, conducting many tests and finding very few cases.

The excess death question

Overseas the death toll in some countries has risen sharply, with the number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 far smaller than the spike seen. This has led to speculation many countries are not capturing all deaths caused by the virus. Newsroom has been supplied weekly death registration data from the Department of Internal Affairs to compare our deaths this year to previous years. Registration of deaths only occurs on weekdays, so weeks with public holidays may have fewer deaths registered than usual, with a corresponding spike the following week.

The Financial Times dug into data regarding deaths and discovered spikes in many countries which exceeds fatalities attributed to Covid-19. Image: Financial Times website

At present New Zealand's weekly deaths charts does not resemble the charts from overseas countries which have raised concern about hidden Covid 19 deaths. 

Employment

A 12-week wage subsidy initiated at the beginning of lockdown measures will come to an end in June. A targeted extension is available for businesses who can show a revenue loss of at least 50 per cent for the 30-day period prior to the application date versus the nearest comparable period last year will be eligible for the extension of the scheme.

As well as the jobseeker benefit there's a new benefit announced. 'Income relief' payments of $490 per week will be available for full-time workers who lost their job after March 1 due to Covid-19. Part-time workers will receive $250 per week. It will be available until November. After 12 weeks of income relief payments recipients will be required to apply for the jobseeker benefit if they haven't found employment.

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