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COVID-19 elimination a “sustained effort”

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.

Elimination of COVID-19 remains the goal of the Ministry of Health under Alert Level 3.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfied says we will still see cases of the virus under an elimination goal.

He says it is not completely eradicated.

To date, the Ministry has been considering elimination in the context of Level 4. 

"As the Director-General said Monday, this has meant we know where our cases come from, we have the ability for ongoing and extensive testing and we can contact trace for a significant number of cases," says a Ministry of Health spokesperson.

"However, we do still have cases of COVID-19 occurring and we have seen from overseas experience how quickly case numbers can rise again if we take our foot off the pedal.

"While we have made good progress to arrive at Level 3, we are by no means in the clear."

Elimination is not a point in time. It is a sustained effort to keep it out and stamp it out over many months, says the Ministry.

"It’s crucial that all New Zealanders remain vigilant and follow the guidelines for Level 3, including physical distancing, keeping to our bubbles, practicing good hand hygiene and if you are unwell, stay away from others and seek medical advice."

Section 70

As outlined on Monday, the Director-General has issued a new Order under the Health Act. 

This came into effect from 11:59pm on April 27, when New Zealand moved to Alert Level 3.  The information in the Order is comprehensive.

It outlines: the functions around isolation or quarantine requirements, the permissions for essential personal movement or recreation, infection control measure requirements for premises, the ability to close non-compliant premises and prohibitions on gatherings.  

The notice can be accessed from the Ministry’s dedicated COVID-19 page (see Epidemic Notice). 

Current COVID-19 cases

As of Tuesday, there were two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report and one new probable case. 

Two of Tuesday’s cases can be traced to a known source. One confirmed case is linked to the Marist cluster in Auckland and the other confirmed case is linked to the Gladys Mary Rest Home in Hawke’s Bay. 

The probable case (from South Canterbury) is currently under investigation.

This means the current national total is 1472. There are no additional deaths to report. 

New Zealand’s total number of confirmed cases is 1,24.  This is the number we report daily to the World Health Organisation and in many instances this is the number reported publicly by other countries.

There were 2146 tests completed yesterday, with a combined total to date of 126,066. Again, this lower number of tests reflects regular weekend and public holiday patterns. 

Of our cases, 1214 are reported as recovered – an increase of 34 on yesterday. 82 per cent of all confirmed and probable cases have now recovered.

There are nine people in hospital, an increase of two from yesterday. This total includes one person in the ICU in Middlemore.

There are still 16 significant clusters, no change from yesterday.

Cases under investigation 

There are now have two cases sinceApril 1 where the Ministry is still investigating the source of infection.  

One is Tuesday’s new probable case from South Canterbury and the other is a confirmed case in Tauranga where a possible link is still being investigated.

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The Pedal

Posted on 29-04-2020 12:26 | By Merlin

Simon Bridges want’s to take the foot of the pedal despite all the health and scientific advice to be cautious.Would he take responsibilty if cases balloon and deaths increase because of going to soon?