VIRUS LATEST
* Cabinet will meet at 10.30am today and the PM will announce at 4pm whether we are coming out of alert level 4 lockdown this Wednesday at 11.59pm
* Public health criteria for the decision include community transmission, testing and contact-tracing, border controls and the health system's capacity
* Other factors are the economy, people's willingness to comply with alert levels, and the Government's ability to enforce them
* Only nine new New Zealand cases on Sunday, total active cases fall to 507, with 12 deaths
* Three babies are among New Zealand cases
* Latest developments and essential information


Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says there is "no value" in trying to save people who have coronavirus if it means greater social damage is caused.

We need to save our economy as fast as we can before further damage is caused, Peters told Newstalk ZB's The Weekend Collective.

The decision on whether New Zealand will move down to alert level 3 will be announced at 4pm today.

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"The secret is that we keep a sense of balance," Peters said.

"In other words it would be of no value if we save a lot of Covid people in our approach - and yet during it we've got all sorts of things like depression, suicide, breakdowns and a whole lot of other social things having far greater social damage.

"In the end the only thing that's going to save lives, isn't just medical expertise - but an economy that's capable of providing the utilities to face the crisis."

He also hit back at those who say alert level 3 isn't much different to level 4.

Recently National's Judith Collins said level 3 is just like level 4 but with KFC.

Peters said level 3 has changed since the alert level system was introduced 30 days ago, arguing we know more now from watching the pandemic unfold both domestically and internationally.

He said level 3 means 500,000 more people can go back to work.

"It's sad people have to get political in times like this," he said.

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"If you can't help then get out of the way of people who are trying to help".

There were nine new confirmed or probable cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand announced on Sunday, taking the total of confirmed and probable cases to 1431.

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

There was one new death since Saturday, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield announced at the 1pm Government update.

The death brings the total toll to 12 and was of a man who died in his Invercargill home
and who was linked to the Bluff wedding cluster. It is the first coronavirus death in the community.

The man, aged in his 70s, died in his Kingswell home on Tuesday evening. The Bluff wedding cluster has been connected to more than 90 cases, including the death of the groom's father.

Bloomfield said it was important to get a good understanding of the death so a post-mortem was ordered - leading to the delay in confirmation that it was Covid-related.

New Zealand will move to level 3 of lockdown on Monday, April 27 at 11:59pm. Alert level 3 will be held for two weeks and then Cabinet will assess whether to move down another level.

The new cases are made up of four confirmed cases and five probable cases.

They are all linked to confirmed cases.

Of the 1431 confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand, 912 people have recovered - an increase of 45 from Saturday.

There are 18 people in hospital, including one each in ICU at Middlemore, Dunedin and North Shore hospitals; two are in a critical condition.