Deaths linked to Covid-19 show the importance of an increasingly "agitated, frustrated and bored" public sticking with lockdown rules, experts say.
Clinical psychologist Jacqui Maguire said the four deaths so far - two of which were announced today - underlined the need to not start ignoring restrictions and stray outside one's "bubble" of social contact.
"It could be assumed that the declining daily Covid-19 case numbers will act as a collective motivation boost ... for some, this positive reinforcement will help them stay the course.
"However, these projected wins also coincide with the 'mid zone' of our four-week lockdown and Easter weekend. A period where many now agitated, frustrated and bored Kiwis are experiencing real loss: no family get-togethers at the bach, religious gatherings or community egg hunts.
"There is risk these falling case numbers provide a false sense of security ... moreover, with all four deaths occurring in the 70-plus age bracket, unhelpful beliefs that Covid-19 is only a risk for 'them' - the elderly - not 'us' may be strengthened."
Dr Dougal Sutherland, clinical psychologist at Victoria University of Wellington and Umbrella Health, said anxiety generated because of the deaths could be useful.
"Anxiety tells us that there could be danger present and that we should take steps to reduce our risk. And right now our anxiety is real and we should listen to it.
"Our job isn't done yet. The lives of the vulnerable and the elderly depend on us continuing to stay home in our bubble. We should listen to our anxiety and then choose to respond, not with fear or suspicion, but with kindness and compassion."
Associate Professor Arindam Basu of the University of Canterbury's school of health sciences said the deaths announced today were a "stark reminder" of why the lockdown was crucial.
Rising numbers in Singapore showed that, short of complete mitigation, the virus would keep coming back - and that should make officials think hard before reopening schools.
"With no efficacious medicines and vaccines in sight, we will have to step up and strive to stay on course - stay indoors, use protective gear when we have to be out and about, be extra careful about our elderly and those with predisposing conditions.
"In particular, we need to be particularly careful about situations and households where children and elderly people (65-plus years) live together and have chances of mixing, so before reopening schools and daycare centres, these factors will possibly need to be kept in the perspective."
Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay confirmed the two new deaths at a media briefing today, saying both were elderly and had underlying health conditions.
One was a man in his 80s who passed away at Wellington Public Hospital yesterday. He first became unwell on March 26 and was admitted to hospital two days later.
The second was a man in his 70s who died in Burwood Hospital, Christchurch, after being among the group transferred from the Rosewood Rest Home to isolate away from other residents.