Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has reassured anxious health workers and indicated the first sign of when we'll know if the lockdown is working, as the number of coronavirus cases in New Zealand continued to rise on Saturday. Get all the highlights and read the full stories in the links below.

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Key developments in NZ

• There have been 83 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in New Zealand, bringing the total number of cases to 451. Twelve people were in hospital, including two in intensive care – one on a ventilator. Sarah Stuart-Black, the Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management, says the Government still expects the total number of cases to continue to climb for some days, but All of Government Controller John Ombler said the Government was "very pleased" with how most New Zealanders were behaving during the lockdown.

Civil Defence Emergency Director Sarah Stuart-Black. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Civil Defence Emergency Director Sarah Stuart-Black. Photo / Mark Mitchell

• For those already suffering from cabin fever on day three of New Zealand's lockdown, Ardern marked April 6 as the first day when there could be signs the "chain of Covid-19 transmission" has been broken. If the number of new cases starts to shrink from then, the lockdown could be eased, but if community transmission continues, the lockdown will likely be extended.


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• Ardern also reassured health workers across the country that they will always have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks. Some front-line healthcare workers have threatened to stop working, fearing a lack of equipment will expose them to Covid-19, but Ardern addressed these concerns this morning, saying there is no reason that this should be the case.

Around the world

• The coronavirus has hit Downing Street, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing that he has tested positive and is exhibiting "mild symptoms". His Health Secretary Matt Hancock later announced he, too, had tested positive. England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said he was experiencing symptoms and would be self-isolating at home for the next seven days.

• Italy and the United States continue to be the nations currently most impacted by the coronavirus. Italy's coronavirus death toll surged by 969 yesterday in the biggest one-day jump that any country has suffered so far. The hundreds of new deaths bring Italy's total from 8165 to 9134, by far the highest in the world. Italy now has 86,948 coronavirus cases - second only to the United States, which now has 92,932, including 16,819 new cases yesterday alone, suggesting that the peak of their outbreak is still weeks away.

Behind the scenes in Parliament

• A week ago on Saturday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered a televised address to the nation. Two days later, she announced New Zealand was going into lockdown. Claire Trevett looked into what was going on in the Beehive and how the Prime Minister's response unfolded.

• Meanwhile, political editor Audrey Young praises Ardern's communication and response to the coronavirus outbreak, but has a word of warning for what is to come in the next phase of the crisis. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

Up in the Air

• Greg Foran started as Air New Zealand's chief executive on February 3, just as the airline industry was plunging into its deepest crisis. He tells Grant Bradley what it's like to lead a business whose revenue has collapsed from $6 billion a year to $500 million and what the airline could look like when the crisis eases.

• Auckland Airport is suffering from the crisis as well - but how can a company which is worth so much appear to be in such a precarious position? Hamish Rutherford investigates the $7 billion company reluctant to talk about solvency.


Sport Under Strain

• The first case of coronavirus amongst top-level New Zealand sporting teams has been reported, with a Wellington Phoenix coach reportedly testing positive. The Phoenix had just returned to New Zealand from Sydney, after the A-League football season had been postponed.

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster. Photo / Photosport
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster. Photo / Photosport

• It might be a while until you see international rugby again as well, with head coach Ian Foster admitting it is unlikely that the All Blacks will be playing their scheduled home tests against Wales and Scotland in July. Foster also confirmed that he and his coaching staff have taken a pay cut - and that the All Blacks players will soon follow suit.

Check our graphic for the latest case numbers in New Zealand and around the world.