A man in his 80s with Covid-19 who died in Wellington Hospital on Friday had a link to New Zealand's largest cluster of cases, a wedding reception held in Bluff.
The man's death was one of two announced on Saturday, bringing the country's total coronavirus-related deaths to four.
Yesterday New Zealand's director of public health Dr Caroline McElnay said the man's infection was linked to an existing cluster that would not be identified for privacy reasons.
But today director-general Dr Ashley Bloomfield named the Bluff wedding event, held on March 21, as the cluster involved. He did not say if the man had been a wedding guest.
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The elderly man first became unwell on March 26, five days after the wedding, and was admitted to hospital two days after that. Researchers believe the average incubation period for Covid-19 is five days.
About 70 guests attended the reception at Bluff's Oyster Cove Restaurant and Bar following the wedding in Invercargill.
There are now 86 cases of Covid-19 stemming from the event. The bride, groom and several family members have tested positive, as have about 10 staff at the bride's workplace - Invercargill City Council - according to Stuff.
Data published by the Ministry of Health shows the cluster originated from "overseas exposure" to the virus.
It's the nation's largest cluster of cases, ahead of Marist College's 85. There are 13 clusters in New Zealand with 10 or more known cases.
The Ministry of Health has faced some criticism over the lack of information published about some clusters - particularly an Auckland party which now has links to 35 cases.
Bloomfield today defended the lack of information about that cluster, saying it was a "private event" which was "well-bounded" and everyone involved had been contacted.
Just eighteen new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed today, which Bloomfield said was an encouragingly low number. He hoped the downward trend would continue over the next few days as testing ramped back up.
There are now 471 people who have recovered from Covid-19, with a total of 1330 cases in New Zealand.
Nationwide, 14 people remain in hospital, five of those are in intensive care units, one in a critical condition.
All four people who have died were elderly, with three of the cases linked to published clusters of Covid-19.
As well as the man in Wellington Hospital, two residents from Rosewood Rest Home - a man in his 70s and and a woman in her 90s have died in Burwood Hospital in Christchurch with the virus. They were among a group of 20 moved to Burwood for care after a person at Rosewood tested positive.
As of Saturday at least six Rosewood residents - including the two deceased - had tested positive, and another seven were probable cases.
The source of the infection at Rosewood is still being investigated, Bloomfield said today. He added that more people from that rest home could die in coming days.
New Zealand's first Covid-19 fatality was Anne Guenole, a West Coast 73-year-old who died in hospital on March 29. The source of her infection has not been publicly confirmed.
Bloomfield said today elderly people infected with the virus were particularly vulnerable to having a poor outcome.