One of the country's most experienced intensive care doctors admits he has never been more afraid than he is right now, in light of Covid-19.

And he warns that if the public do not stay home, people will end up in hospitals and the healthcare system will be so stretched that those involved in accidents or suffer strokes or heart attacks will simply die.

Wellington Hospital intensive care specialist, Dr Paul Young, is well-known for his involvement in clinical research to improve the outcomes of critically ill patients around the world.

But even he is not afraid to come out right and say it - he is scared.

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"I am an intensive care doctor. I have never felt as scared as I do now.

"Please stay home. If New Zealand embraces this challenge, we will together save tens of thousands of lives."

'HEALTHCARE SYSTEM CAN'T SAVE US - BUT PEOPLE STAYING HOME CAN'

Young made the statement via Twitter and called on people in New Zealand to re-post his tweet in order to get the message out.

Young said New Zealand's healthcare system could not save us from the disease.

"But people staying at home can," he wrote on Twitter.

"Hospitals being completely overwhelmed means that people die of heart attacks, strokes, accidents etc.

"They die of everything because the kind of healthcare we take for granted will not be available if our hospitals are full."

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His comments come as New Zealanders prepare to enter a complete lockdown by tomorrow after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the historic announcement yesterday.

As of yesterday afternoon, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Zealand stood at 102. A total of 36 new cases were announced yesterday.

Of those people, five are in hospital, Ardern told media this morning. It is understood none of those patients are in intensive care units, however, she said.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website