Wellington Scoop

Two clusters identified in Wellington as covid-19 total reaches 283

The number of covid-19 cases has risen in the last 24 hours by 78 – 73 of them are confirmed and five possible. The national total is now 283. Two clusters of the virus have been identified in Wellington – people who attended a wedding party, and a group of friends who shared a trip to New York.

Reporting this information today, the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said a majority of cases continue to be linked with overseas travel, or with existing cases.

Public health staff are investigating every case and activating contact tracing.

Wellington now has a total of 39 covid-19 cases, and the Hutt Valley has six. There are six cases in Hawkes Bay.

Dr Bloomfield expects the numbers to continue to grow for the next ten days. After that, if everyone has observed the Level Four restrictions, he expects the numbers will start to decline.

So far, 27 patients have recovered.

There are still three patients in Wellington Hospital. Two patients are in Nelson Hospital. No one is in intensive care. All are in a stable condition.

A total of 2417 tests were processed yesterday – making a total of 12,683 tests so far.

News from Ministry of Health
It’s important our health workers and those working in essential services have access to personal protection equipment. It is already available for health workers and we are also providing a supply to essential workers.

Measures to address immediate needs for PPE equipment are being taken with urgency. For example, later today we will be sending 600,000 masks to DHBs.

We are continuing to manufacture more masks in New Zealand, more than 200,000 produced each day, and we source masks and equipment from overseas.

To address issues of stockpiling of medicines, PHARMAC will be making an announcement today of a change to the pharmaceutical schedule to address this. There is no issue with the medicine supply chain.

From later tonight, pharmacists will be limited to providing only one month’s supply of prescribed medicines, or a limit of 3 months for the supply of oral contraceptives.

There will be no change to the way prescriptions are issued, it is simply a change to the amount of medicine able to be distributed by the pharmacy for each prescribed medicine.

Pharmacists still able be to make exceptions to provide additional amounts where people live remotely or for individuals with disability and would have difficulty in more regular refills of prescriptions.


  1. Giovanni Tiso, 26. March 2020, 13:25

    The contrast between Australia and New Zealand is quite stark, isn’t it. Australia has twelve times the number of confirmed cases, has seen 11 deaths and is now apparently ‘eyeing level 3’. We’re at level 4 with no deaths. [via twitter]

  2. Chris, 26. March 2020, 13:33

    Great work by the Covid team, our doctors and nurses must be relieved with the low numbers being hospitalised, it will give them much needed breathing space to free up beds. Seen many people out walking by my place in Island Bay, and not individuals. The walk is for exercise not a day out, please people stay home.

  3. Lisa W, 26. March 2020, 16:48

    You don’t need to be such an enforcer Chris. What if it was a flat isolated together or a family group.

  4. N.D., 26. March 2020, 19:47

    Well said Lisa W. Exercise walks in your neighbourhood are okay according to the rules as I understand them. We don’t want an obesity, boredom, or domestic violence crisis do we?

  5. CC, 26. March 2020, 20:01

    Lisa, more salient, what if it wasn’t?

  6. JK, 26. March 2020, 22:53

    Saw on Newshub’s telecast that the wedding was at Boomrock on March 14.

  7. Manny, 27. March 2020, 5:24

    People need to calm down about the SARS-Corona virus. Exercising outside is very good for keeping a healthy body and mind.

  8. Neil Douglas, 27. March 2020, 11:56

    Carterton District Council is not closing public parks or reserves. According to CDC, people can walk in those areas (alone or within their bubble). If they are congregating, CDC advises them not to approach people (keep yourself safe) and let the relevant authorities know. CDC is also aware of essential service personel who are self-isolating – to protect their families they may choose to stay in the areas in a self-contained vehicle. CDC has closed the toilet at the Cliff ‘freedom camp-site” on the Ruamahanga River as they “cannot guarantee clean facilities after each person’s use so this is a preventative measure to assist in non-spread of the virus”. CDC says this does not signal that the public space is closed.

    As at the morning of 27th March, there is no sign on the toilet block to advise of its closure so I recommend people do not push on the padlocked metal door to avoid contamination. I have asked for a sign to be displayed.

  9. BHS, 27. March 2020, 13:15

    Can the public go and stay in the camp site?

  10. Neil Douglas, 27. March 2020, 18:48

    It’s unclear from CDC. They mention essential workers are able to stay but I don’t know about anybody else.


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