Coronavirus: Wet wipes 'major problem' during COVID-19 lockdown, Civil Defence urges people to bin them instead of flush

Civil Defence is urging people to stop flushing wet wipes down the toilet during the coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown.

As people have "rightly" become more vigilant about hygiene, the use of wet wipes has increased "markedly", Civil Defence emergency management director Sarah Stuart-Black says.

"They are a major problem for [the] council's wastewater and treatment plants, and sewerage systems," she told reporters on Tuesday.

Stuart-Black said disposing of wet wipes down the toilets leads to extra blockages.

"The bottom line is - please always put wet wipes in the rubbish and not the toilet."

Meanwhile, a Stuart-Black announced the establishment of a COVID-19 local government response unit. She said it will address the welfare needs of people confined to their homes.

"Previously, this assistance was limited to people who were displaced following an emergency. COVID-19 presents the opposite challenge with people confined to their homes.

"It will particularly assist the disabled, at-risk groups, and people without access to their own transport.

Wet wipes are universal an practical: woman take one wipe from big package for cleaning
Photo credit: Getty

"These services are intended for those facing hardship and are offered in addition to a range of other support measures provided by other agencies."

Earlier, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield confirmed 58 more cases of COVID-19 with no additional deaths.

Fourteen people are in hospitals around the country - two of them stable in intensive care, he said.

Dr Bloomfield said while there'd been a drop in the number of cases in the past day or two, he still expects they'll continue rising.