Northland's third Covid-19 patient was recovering in Whangārei Hospital as New Zealand ended its first day of national lockdown yesterday.

The New Zealand woman in her 50s, who is in isolation, returned home on March 21 after leaving the United Kingdom and flying to Dubai on March 19 on flight Emirates EK38. Her flight from Dubai to Auckland was Emirates EK448.

The woman is one of seven people nationwide hospitalised because of Covid-19, but all were in a stable condition.

There are 78 new cases of Covid-19, including 73 confirmed cases and five new probable cases, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says. The new cases bring the total number of confirmed or probable infections to 283.

As with any isolated patient, the woman is being treated by a select team of medical professionals on a ward separate from other patients.

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Northland's third case is now one of New Zealand's 283 confirmed and probable cases as at 9.30am yesterday, after the addition of 78 new cases (73 confirmed and five probable), announced by director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield yesterday afternoon.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo / File
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo / File

Northland's two other cases are recovering in isolation at home. Northland's first case of coronavirus was confirmed on Thursday last week - a man in his 20s who returned home from overseas that week.

The Northlander flew from Paris to Abu Dhabi on Etihad flight EY38, then on to Sydney on flight EY450, and the final leg of his journey to Auckland on Monday was on Virgin Australia flight V0141.

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

Northland's second case was a woman who had recently returned from Australia. The Northlander, in her 40s, flew from Melbourne to Auckland on flight JQ217 on Sunday, March 15.

On Wednesday, 2417 tests were processed nationwide, taking the total number of tests to 12,683. About 1400 tests have been done daily in the last week. Bloomfield also confirmed 27 people had recovered from Covid-19 to date.

In a press conference yesterday, NZ Police commissioner Mike Bush said most New Zealanders were complying with lockdown rules.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush (right) updated the nation on police activities on the first day of the lockdown. Photo / File
Police Commissioner Mike Bush (right) updated the nation on police activities on the first day of the lockdown. Photo / File

Although they had the power to arrest or detain people who flouted the rules, Bush said police had been "very visible" in an attempt to educate and engage with people who may misunderstand lockdown rules.

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Bush made it clear that people driving to areas such as parks had to "keep it local" and people should not be driving "willy nilly" all over town.

"Nearby, very local, but for the right reason. Let's not forget, this is about staying home. Behave in a way as if you had [Covid-19]," he said.

In a press conference at 3pm yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said day one of the lockdown had run smoothly, supermarkets had been "generally" orderly and panic-buying seemed to have subsided.

Businesses, Ardern said, could be fined $4000 or face a three- to six-month jail term if found to be open against lockdown rules.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed media yesterday and took questions regarding the first day of New Zealand's lockdown. Photo / File
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed media yesterday and took questions regarding the first day of New Zealand's lockdown. Photo / File

Also announced was a $27m package approved by Cabinet for social sector groups to help those most vulnerable to deal with the increase in demand for essential services during the lockdown.

It would help ensure society's most vulnerable had a place to live and food to eat, and to help those suffering from family violence.

Ardern said the Salvation Army did 3100 parcels last week, with higher demand in Auckland and Northland.