There have been two more deaths related to Covid-19 in New Zealand.

This brings the total death toll to four, Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay says.

McElnay reported 29 new cases today and said 422 people with Covid-19 in New Zealand have now recovered.

The total number of cases are now 1,312.


Fifteen people are in hospital - five are in intensive care units and one patient in Dunedin is in a critical condition.

Both of the latest two people to die of Covid-19 were elderly, had underlying health conditions and could be linked to existing clusters.

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 man's infection was linked to an existing cluster which McElnay said they wouldn't identify for privacy reasons.

"We are confident that his close contacts have been traced."

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.

McElnay said because of the "underlying vulnerabilities" of that group, further deaths or serious illness couldn't be ruled out.

"We acknowledge the anxiety New Zealanders may be feeling about today's news, both in the wider community and also for family and whanau grieving over these sad deaths."


Because of the level 4 alert, McElnay said they understood how difficult it was for families and whanau to feel they are part of their loved ones' final hours.

On behalf of the Ministry of Health, McElnay thanked the frontline health workers who'd been providing patients with comfort and support during these times.

"Again, today's news reinforces the importance of our move to Alert Level Four, and the measures we are all taking to limit spread, break the chain of transmission and prevent deaths.

"We want you to know that our health system will continue to do everything it can to support the fight against Covid-19."

New Covid-19 cluster in Christchurch

Three of the four deaths in New Zealand are linked to clusters.

There are now 13 clusters of Covid-19 across the country.

The George Manning residential care facility in Christchurch is this country's 13thcluster where more than 10 people have been infected with Covid-19 from a single source.

The George Manning residential care facility in Christchurch is this country's 13th Covid-19 cluster. Photo / supplied
The George Manning residential care facility in Christchurch is this country's 13th Covid-19 cluster. Photo / supplied

One of the clusters is linked to a private party in Auckland while another cluster can now be linked to Spectrum Care - a daycare facility for children with disabilities.

McElnay couldn't give the date of the private function in Auckland.

She said there was ongoing transmission happening from people at the function.

McElnay said they hadn't missed an opportunity to contact tracing by not naming the Auckland clusters because the contact tracing was ongoing behind the scenes.

McElnay said family members of the Rosewood rest home should contact the local DHB directly for answers about what to do.

The investigations into how people at the Christchurch rest home were infected are still ongoing.

The George Manning care facility in Christchurch. Photo / Google Maps
The George Manning care facility in Christchurch. Photo / Google Maps

McElnay said the Canterbury DHB did the right decision to move the patients to provide the "extra level of support".

At the George Manning rest home where there are 14 cases, there was a mixture of residents and staff and McElnay said the virus was "well contained" there.

At Rosewood, McElnay said the group was "frail and elderly" and the impact of Covid-19 was that impacted that group could be a "very unpleasant illness".

McElnay said the would tell all the DHBs today to contact all of their aged care facilities and tell them about what procedures they should already have in place.

Frontline workers test positive for Covid-19

McElnay said there was now three nurses who had tested positive from Waikato Hospital and investigations were ongoing but the nurses were all close contacts out of the workplace.

The supermarket worker in Flaxmere who'd tested positive had a family link to a case, McElnay said.

Premium - Verena Friederike Hasel: NZ's Covid-19 coronavirus response 'extraordinary'
Covid 19 coronavirus: New Zealand has recorded its second coronavirus-related death; 44 new cases
Covid 19 coronavirus: New York officially world epicentre of pandemic
Covid 19 coronavirus: 100,000 deaths globally; UK reeling after deadliest day; two NZ fatalities

New Zealand's second confirmed death from Covid-19 was confirmed yesterday after a 90-year-old woman with underlying health conditions passed away in Burwood Hospital.

She was one 20 residents hospitalised from the Rosewood Rest Home after someone tested positive at the facility.

The other death was West Coast woman Anne Guenole, 73, who passed away in hospital on March 29, two days after testing positive for Covid-19.

Meanwhile, a group of 16 New Zealanders and 96 Australians will board a repatriation flight in Uruguay this afternoon.

They had been stuck on a cruise ship which had more than half its passengers test positive for the coronavirus.

The flight will land in Melbourne then the Kiwis will be transferred to a flight home then the passengers will go into quarantine.