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LIVE: Five new cases of Covid-19 today

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Minister of Health Chris Hipkins. Image: RNZ.

UPDATED: There are five new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today.

Two of these cases are imported and were picked up in managed isolation testing, the other three are new community cases.

Two of the community cases are a contact of known cases and one is under investigation, says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

One case from yesterday that had been linked to a positive case has now been reclassified and is under investigation, he says.

There are 134 active cases of the virus and 21 of those cases are imported, this brings the total number of confirmed cases to 1344.

Of the two new imported cases one is a female in her 50s and the other is a male in his 30s, both of these people are in the quarantine facility in Auckland.

 The information about their travel will be made available later today, says Ashley.

There are 2422 close contacts of the community cluster identified and 2368 of those people have been contacted, he says.

Five people associated with the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship church have tested positive, says Ashley.

Anyone who was at the services held at the church on Stoddard Road on August 8, 9 and 11 and a wedding on August 7 should be isolating and seek a test, he says.

There are 163 people linked to the Auckland cluster that have been moved to the quarantine facility including 90 people who have tested positive, says Ashley.

There are nine people receiving hospital care for Covid-19, two of these people are in Auckland City, three are in North Shore with one of these people in ICU.

There are four people in Middlemore Hospital and two of these people are in ICU in a critical condition.

Yesterday there were 8559 test processed which brings the total number of tests done so far to 710,063.

QR codes to be mandatory on public transport

Chris Hipkins says QR codes will also be mandatory on public transport after the recent case of someone infected travelling on a bus led to masks on public transport becoming mandatory.

While ticketing systems can identify some travellers, it is not widespread enough and this is why QR codes are needed, he says. QR codes are a faster way for contract tracing to take place, he says.

It will be required from 11.59pm next Thursday 3 September on buses, trains, ride shares and ferries. This won't be enforced by drivers, or transport operators, says Hipkins.

Hipkins says the government has been working with supermarkets to make sure there are enough masks available.

People should be encouraged to use reusable masks where possible, he says. He says face coverings can be a bandana or scarf and people can make their own.

Māori and Pasifika health experts have been added to the new health group. Hipkins says the group will be looking at all aspects of testing protocol.

Additional reporting RNZ.

EARLIER: The Minister of Health Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will provide an update on Covid-19 at 1pm today.

Yesterday there were seven new cases of Covid-19 - all linked to the Auckland cluster.

Of the seven community cases, four are linked to churches in Auckland. Three are separate household contacts.

There are currently 129 active cases in New Zealand and 2446 close contacts associated with the cluster.

The total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand is 1339.

Ashley says there are currently eight people with Covid-19 receiving hospital level care – three of those are in critical condition in ICU.

More than 1.8 million people have registered to use the COVID tracer app.

Labs processed 4444 tests yesterday, Ashley says.

Hipkins says the Covid-19 defence systems have gone into overdrive over the past two weeks.

He says nearly a quarter of all the testing done for Covid-19 this year has taken place in the past two weeks.

A new target of an additional 70,000 tests across the country is in place for the next seven days, he says.

"It's challenging to keep up this pace but it is doable."

Hipkins says DHBs are reporting testing fatigue, with testing numbers dropping below 5000 yesterday. He urges New Zealanders to keep getting tested.

He says 80 per cent of contacts traced are being contacted within 48 hours, meeting the "gold standard" level for contact tracing the government aims to meet.

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