Coronavirus: 533 ventilators available in the New Zealand public health system

The Ministry of Health has confirmed there are more than 500 ventilators available throughout the country to use for COVID-19 patients.

There are 533 in the public sector and also "quite a number" in the private sector that are also available, while more have been ordered from overseas, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Tuesday.

"We'll provide that information on our website and just show the expectation around the additional ventilators," he said.

"Of course, the corollary of that is showing that we have enough staff trained, and so that training's happening now in our district health boards."

Dr Bloomfield said the number of ventilators New Zealand will need "depends on what happens" and whether more people with COVID-19 need hospital treatment.

"But what we are doing is gearing up and continuing to get more capacity so that we have as much available as is needed, or as is possible, by the time we do get an increase in cases in our health system."

A Ministry of Health survey released on March 24 previously indicated there were 563 potential ventilator beds across district health boards and a total of 520 ventilators.

In private hospitals, there were another 22 ICU beds, 24 ventilators, and 194 anaesthetic machine ventilators.

Teaching universities, emergency services defence force and veterinary providers also have ventilators and anaesthetic machine ventilators. The Ministry of Health is currently assessing the number and suitability of these.