There are no new Covid-19 cases today and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said it is his "great hope" that New Zealand has seen the last of the deaths associated with coronavirus.

It is the fourth day in a row without a new case.

In fact, the number of new Covid-19 cases in the past seven days has been just two.

The death toll remains at 21.

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The total number of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand since the pandemic began is 1503. Ninety-seven per cent of people with the virus have recovered.

Bloomfield said he was feeling "encouraged, as we all should" when it comes to the low new numbers.

He said this bodes well for him giving his recommendation to Cabinet around expanding the max gathering rules.

"Everything remains promising," he said.

He said the 97 per cent recovery rate is a "really good outcome."

He said the transmission chain has been successfully broken in New Zealand.

From now, the aim is to move "as quickly as possible" to open up the max gatherings numbers, he said.

New testing plan coming next week

He said moving further into level 2, there will still be testing of symptomatic people - but the number of those has been dropping.

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The Government is reviewing the case definition of Covid-19.

But the Government wants to make sure it's not missing any cases.

Health chief's dance floor warning

- Bloomfield said people should support those businesses.

But he said this was not the time to try out "any new dance moves" that one might have learned during lockdown.

He asked people to give correct details to bars and restaurants.

More doses of flu vaccine

Bloomfield said the Government has secured an extra 360,000 flu vaccines.

He said that vaccine is available from this week and encouraged all Kiwis to get the jab. More than 2 million doses of the flu vaccine are now available.

He said 20,000 doses of flu vaccines will be held back for the general population stock for those who are the most vulnerable.

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Bloomfield said since level 2 started, 650 funerals and tangi have been registered and have gone ahead. He said he's really pleased to see this.

The Covid-19 tracing app - who's got it

In terms of the Govt's Covid-19 tracing app, he said 236,000 people have downloaded the app and encouraged all Kiwis to use it.

He said some people have had issues finding the app in the app store - Bloomfield said the Government has been working with Google to help make it more visible.

The Government was adding more functionality over the coming weeks and that there has been "good progress" when it comes to the take-up of the app.

He said the Government considered a number of options for the app - but it decided to develop its own app so it could be confident about the information being collected.


He said privacy issues was top of mind for the Government when it was developing the app.

He said on buses and trains, people are required to "tag on" with a card, which makes contact tracing easier.

He said Māori and Pacific people are engaging when it comes with contact tracing - going forward, the Ministry will be working closely with those communities to ensure that continues.

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