Wellington Scoop

Covid-19: 83 new cases, national total now 451 (12 in hospital)

There have been 83 new cases of covid-virus reported since yesterday, three of them in Wellington and three in the Hutt Valley. The national total is now 451. Twelve of the patients are in hospital; two of them are in a critical condition in intensive care, one of them on a ventilator. There are still three patients in Wellington Hospital, the same number as yesterday.

We now have more information on Wellington’s two clusters. There are 15 confirmed cases, and two probable, from the Wellington group who shared a holiday trip to New York. And there are 10 confirmed cases, and two probable, from the private Wellington wedding.

The Ministry of Health says: We are still seeing a strong link to overseas travel, as well as links to confirmed cases.

Report from RNZ
The total number of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand is now 451, with overseas travel and links to confirmed cases still being the most significant infection path. Two people are in intensive care units, one is on a ventilator – both are in a critical condition.

Fifty individuals have recovered, 12 people are in hospital with Covid-19 – three in Wellington Regional Hospital, two in Nelson Hospital, two in Whangarei Hospital and one each in Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Dunedin and Greymouth hospitals.

Eight Air New Zealand employees have tested positive for Covid-19. One has now recovered. All work on the airline’s long haul fleet and operated sectors to Los Angeles or London.

First three cases in Ruapehu
Twenty new cases in Southland

Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black said laboratories were working to process and report test results as quickly as possible, with the average daily test number over a 7-day period being 1613.

She said health officials expect to see an increase in covid-19 cases in the coming days, despite today’s number of cases being lower than yesterday’s.

Stuart-Black said abuse on social media of people who have been confirmed as having Covid-19 was just not acceptable, and urged people not to make it any harder for those who need to seek help.

Hospitals have been ramping up to be able to cope with patients needing respiratory support, including intensive care beds, Stuart-Black said. More than 2500 retired health workers have signed up to help with the Covid-19 response.

All of Government controller John Ombler said most were following the nationwide lockdown rules. There have been isolated incidents of people congregating and they have been warned by police.

Ombler said he had heard reports of New Zealanders who have arrived back in the country and in self-isolation at hotels without food, and that was not good enough. He said they were dealing with those without the capacity to self isolate – sending the Red Cross to hotels to help with any welfare issues as they arise.

They could also transfer international arrivals to their home base via regional flights, specifically for their repatriation home. For those who arrive at an international airport and can get home by car – no more than five hours drive – they will be able to do so under specific circumstances.

He urged people to stick to their bubble and only leave for essential needs, or when exercising to stick nearby their area of residence. He reiterated the message that no-one needs to worry about supermarkets running out of food. People should choose one person to do the shopping and respect the need for physical distancing.


  1. Don M, 28. March 2020, 16:13

    We know that it is people coming in to NZ who are the main source of infection. Yet failure to manage the borders has been a significant contributor to our predicament – our ministers and the MoH seem to think that all returnees will obediently quarantine themselves and won’t meet up with friends and relatives during their initial period of returning, because it’s the right thing to do and the police may check on them occasionally. Either the government is serious about this or it isn’t.

  2. Northland, 28. March 2020, 18:10

    According to the news conferences, most of the cases within NZ are due to people arriving in the country, so why wouldn’t we just test, test, test?
    Adding to this is that the virus can both be transmitted before people are symptomatic *and* it seems there are a lot of carriers who may never be symptomatic judging by an article I have seen. Testing only after symptoms develop seems to be a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

  3. CC, 29. March 2020, 22:35

    Aren’t we lucky to have so many armchair experts and keyboard warriors to toll the bells of doom. Get real guys! There are limited resources, people working around the clock to provide test results and inventive people trying to make sure that all that can be done is being done to make life safe on the coal-front. One has to wonder if the naysayers have stopped to consider how they would fare as decision makers and if they would achieve the same respect internationally that the Prime Minister has for her decisiveness and use of expert advice. Perhaps they should take off for an enlightening trip to Rome, London, Madrid or New York for a taste of reality.