SunLive         

LIVE: Three new COVID-19 cases

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield will be joined by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at 1pm.

UPDATE: The death toll for COVID-19 in New Zealand has increased by two.

A woman in her 60s, who had been in a critical condition on Dunedin Hospital, has died.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says while her family had not been able to visit her in hospital, arrangements were made for them to be with her last night.

He says the woman had an underlying medical condition.

The second reported death today is that of a man in his 70s.

"He was from Rosewood Rest Home but was not part of the group that had been transferred to Burwood Hospital.

"While he had initially tested negative, the man was treated as a probable case and was being treated as if he had COVID-19. He had an underlying medical condition."

Ashley says this is a reminder of how serious this illness is.

Today, there are only three cases of the virus reported in the past 24 hours. This is made up of two confirmed cases and one probable case.

Ashley says laboratories around New Zealand tested a record of 6480 test in the past 24 hours.

He says of those tested, 0.05 per cent have returned a positive result.

A total of 11277 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in New Zealand to date.

A total of eight people remain in hospital, with one person in a critical condition in Middlemore Hopistal.

EARLIER:

The All of Government COVID-19 National Response will provide two updates today.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardrern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will be delivering their normal daily update at 1pm.

At 3pm, Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black and Police Commissioner Andrew Coster will also be delivering a live update from Wellington.

SunLive will be providing updates from both livestreams throughout the afternoon.

What we know so far

As of Wednesday, six new cases of COVID-19 reported in the past in New Zealand, with one more death confirmed.

Three cases are connected to overseas travel and three are connected to existing clusters.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says Wednesday's additional death is a woman in her 80s.

"She was a Rosewood resident who had been transferred to Burwood Hospital.

"She had underlying medical conditions."

Ashley says everyone we lose to COVID-19 is a tragedy.

The death toll for COVID-19 in New Zealand is now at 14.

Ashley says 11 people are in hospital, two of those are in ICU. The patients are in a stable condition.

A record number of tests were carried out yesterday, with 5289 tests, bringing the total number of tests to 94,467.

A total of 1036 people have recovered from the coronavirus.

Level 3 hunting rules confirmed

Hunters will be able to hunt on private land with special restrictions when New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced have announced the new rules today, but says hunting is still banned on public conservation land.

Hunting has not been allowed since New Zealand moved to Alert Level 4, but a shift to Level 3 next Tuesday morning will mean hunters can once again hunt locally - as long as they have the landholder’s permission and stick to the rules.

“We know that hunting is an important part of life for many New Zealanders, and in some cases a critical source of food. At Level 3 we also need to minimise the risk of losing the great progress we’ve made together in Alert Level 4 in stamping out the virus," says Grant.

"We have to strike a balance, and that’s why these rules are designed to allow hunting in a limited way.

“Cabinet has agreed hunting on private land will be allowed under Alert Level 3, so long as hunters stay within their region and stick to their bubble. Hunting is only permitted on foot and overnight trips are not allowed. The use of quad bikes, off-road bikes, helicopters and other motorised vehicles is prohibited.”

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage says hunting on public conservation land is not allowed until the time when there is a decision for New Zealand return to Alert Level 2.

“While many hunters may want to head to popular spots on public land to target the last stag of the roar, under Alert Level 3 hunting on public conservation land will remain off limits,” says Eugenie.

“This helps with consistency across walking and mountain biking where people must stay local, rather than travelling to back country conservation land.

“The start of the duck hunting season is being postponed from Saturday 2 May to start on the second weekend after that date that is decided for when New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2. The season will also end later.

“I know this is disappointing but for many duck hunters the social interaction around hunting is an important part of the activity, especially at opening weekend. The risks associated with groups of people coming together is too high.

“The two-week delay to the start of the season after a decision is made to move into Level 2 was determined in consultation with the New Zealand Fish and Game Council and I want to thank them for their constructive engagement with these decisions.
“All New Zealanders will still have an opportunity to hunt ducks, at the same time, once we return to Alert Level 2.

“We’re still encouraging New Zealanders to spend time in nature where possible if it’s local, but this is not the time to take up hunting as a new hobby or explore the back country and go on an overnight tramp. Use your common sense – stay local, stay safe."

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