There are no new cases of Covid-19 to report for the 22nd straight day, and there remain no new active cases in New Zealand.

That means the total number of confirmed cases remains at 1154, with the confirmed or probable cases total 1504.

Today is the 15th day since the limit on gatherings was increased from 10 to 100 people, and the fact there have been no cases will be reassuring.

It is also the 12th day since the 4000-strong crowd gathered in Auckland in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests in the USA.

Advertisement

It usually takes 10 to 14 days for any new outbreaks of Covid-19 to show up in testing data.

A total of 2978 tests were conducted yesterday, bringing the total number of tests so far to 307,810.

There have now been 552,000 downloads of the NZ Covid Tracer app, while 47,477 QR posters have been created for businesses.

The total number of poster scans is now 921,480.

The closure of the Ruby Princess cluster was announced yesterday, bringing the number of closed clusters to 10 out of 16.

The Ruby Princess cluster had infected 24 New Zealanders and was linked to at least five deaths in Australia.

A cluster is when there have been no new cases linked to it for two incubation periods (28 days) since all cases completed isolation.

READ MORE:
Covid 19 coronavirus: Revealed - The cost of the blanket quarantine at the border
Claire Trevett: Can Shane Jones and his pork barrel avert NZ First election disaster?
Covid 19 coronavirus: Govt announces NZ border exceptions
National wants new international students back in NZ - but with new work restrictions

Advertisement

Today the Herald revealed that the first 40 days of quarantining and isolating all people arriving from overseas amid the Covid-19 pandemic has cost almost $50 million.

With 7755 people being housed and monitored in hotel rooms over that period, from April 10 to May 19, the average cost is about $6200 per person.

According to Ministry of Health data, 12 of them have tested positive for Covid-19 during that period. All but one had arrived from Australia, while the other person had flown in from the USA.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday she was looking at how the Government could ease itself of the financial burden of putting all overseas arrivals into hotel rooms for 14 days.

"This is something that we've been working with the all-of-Government group around. I expect to receive some advice in the coming weeks on this, and decisions thereafter.

"Obviously, maintaining the strict requirements that we have and ensuring that we have the border agencies there present ... does come at some expense, but obviously Covid in New Zealand comes at an even greater expense."

Advertisement

From April 10 to May 19, $48,222,453 was spent, made up of $45.9 million based on invoices and $2.3 million based on estimates.

"This includes hotel accommodation, food, laundry, hotel security, and wrap-around health and wellbeing services," a spokesperson for the Covid-19 National Response said.

During that period, 7755 people were put up, 94 per cent of them in Auckland and the rest in Christchurch.

The spokesperson said the cost per person would likely decline over time because of the set-up costs and expensive short-term contracts that were entered into when the programme was being put in place.

"Subsequently, the programme has managed to secure longer-term contracts, which has enabled it to achieve some greater efficiencies."

There are currently 3321 people in managed isolation or quarantine, which is about 80 per cent of the full capacity of 4194.

Advertisement

On Thursday the Health Ministry released the findings of an independent review - commissioned by director general of health Ashley Bloomfield - into allowed the virus to spread in rest homes.

It found personal protective equipment (PPE) wasn't available in some facilities and communications and support by health authorities was at times "confusing and not always clear or consistent".

The panel report also confirmed infections were introduced by staff or visitors, and "in some cases, recognition of an outbreak was relatively delayed, which accelerated internal facility transmission".

Subscribe to Premium

For three of the outbreaks, "it appears that more than half of the people had developed symptoms of illness before the outbreak was notified" and "this delay makes contact tracing very difficult due to people being unable to remember details and contacts many days earlier".

Rest home staff described an atmosphere of fear. Some were threatened with eviction by landlords or housemates if they kept working for a facility.

"Some staff reported they were 'treated like lepers in our society' and the facilities were also the subject of online attacks," the report noted.

Advertisement