New Zealand's Covid-19 related death toll has risen to nine after four more deaths were announced yesterday.
Three of yesterday's four fatalities (two men in their 90s and one in his 80s) were from the Rosewood Rest Home in Christchurch, which had already seen three residents' deaths included among New Zealand's Covid-19 toll.
The other death reported yesterday was of a man in his 70s in Wellington and was linked to overseas travel. The man, a Kāpiti Coast rest home resident who had been in hospital since March 22, had been in intensive care for some time.
As it was the largest number of deaths reported in a single day, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the thoughts of the medical community were with the affected families.
"It is a sobering reminder of what is at stake here," he said.
So far, Covid-19 cases had been seen in six of New Zealand's 650 aged care facilities, which Bloomfield said was commendable, in contrast to other countries.
However, he announced he would be commissioning a review of such facilities and their response to positive cases.
Regarding new Covid-19 cases, Bloomfield said there had been a further 17 positive cases, eight confirmed and nine probable, as at 9am yesterday. This included one Northland case, a male between 10-14, which was reported by the Northern Advocate on Monday, but was too late for Monday's Ministry of Health briefing.
Northland's case tally was 26 (24 confirmed and 2 probable), made up of 18 in self-isolation and eight recoveries. None were in hospital.
Of Northland's cases, seven were Māori, 17 were European, one was from the Pacific and one was Middle Eastern/Latin American/African.
As at 8am yesterday, 2268 tests had been carried out in Northland. Seventy-five per cent of tests (1701) had been done at Northland's seven community testing centres.
Head to the bottom of the article for more information on the centres. Note: The hours of the Kaikohe centre have changed to 8:30am-2pm, Mon-Fri, with the same hours on weekends/public holidays. All other hours were up to date.
Nationally, the total case tally was now 1366, including 628 recovered cases - an increase in recoveries of 82 yesterday.
There were 15 people in hospital around the country with three in intensive care in Christchurch, Dunedin and North Shore. The patient in Dunedin was in a critical condition.
Yesterday morning, the Treasury released a range of economic scenarios which showed, as a worst-case scenario, New Zealand's unemployment rate could rise to 26 per cent.
However, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the country would not be in a scenario where unemployment got that high.
He said while the scenarios were "extremely sobering", they showed the need for further significant investment from the Government.
Speaking at her media conference late yesterday alongside Robertson, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said yesterday's four deaths were a "sad and sobering reminder" of the impact of Covid-19.
Under alert level 4, Ardern said there had been 1452 reports of people breaching the lockdown and 169 prosecutions so far.
She also announced a $130 million student support package, which aimed to assist financially embattled students dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The announcement included an increase of course-related cost support for full-time students, the continuation of support payments for students unable to study online and ensuring students received partial tuition fee refunds in 2020 if their course had been discontinued, due to Covid-19.