The number of Covid-19 testing stations across New Zealand has increased to 120 as the Government continues to ramp up its daily test count.

By the end of the week, Health Minister David Clark said he expects New Zealand to have 60,000 complete Covid-19 tests.

That's up from the 46,875 tests which have been carried out so far.

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Of the 120 sites, 68 are community-based assessment centres which have been established to take samples from people with Covid-19 symptoms.

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The other 52 centres include a range of different setups, including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics.

Some of these are drive thru-style setups.

Clark said these centres are designed to take the load off GP teams and hospital emergency departments.

They also reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19 for healthcare workers in "walk-in" healthcare locations, he said.

"These centres have been set up in areas of high demand. We will assess the data and more clinics will be opened where the demand is strongest," Clark said.

Auckland's three DHBs, which have 16, have the most testing stations, followed by Southern DHB with 12, then Canterbury with nine.

"In terms of materials, I've been advised that by the end of next week we'll have up 60,000 complete tests and we have a similar number of swabs, with the local manufacture of up to 250,000 more over the next three to four weeks," Clark said.

As well as this, Clark said the Ministry of Health has updated its advice on testing criteria.

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Now, anyone with respiratory symptoms consistent with Covid-19, regardless of travel history or contact with a confirmed case, will be considered for testing.

"Because of this, we're starting to see more testing and that's a good thing."

Despite the increased testing, the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 has been dropping.

There were 50 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand yesterday, the lowest daily total reported in a fortnight.

That's down on 54 yesterday and 67 the day before that.

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

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