Coronavirus: Ministry of Health confirms 82 new COVID-19 cases in New Zealand

There are 82 new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, officials said on Saturday, taking the country's total to 950.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told reporters 52 of the new cases are confirmed, while 30 are probable.

Ten people remain in hospital - one of those in ICU but in a stable condition, he said.

Dr Bloomfield said there have been no further deaths and 127 reported cases have now recovered.

There remains only one percent confirmed community transmission, with 17 percent under investigation.

Dr Bloomfield said 2264 tests, on average, are being undertaken per day. On Friday, 3631 tests were undertaken.

New Zealand has the capacity to do 6000 tests per day.

Dr Bloomfield said there are currently more than 10,000 nasal swabs in stock and enough supply for 37,000 tests. More supply is on the way, he said.

"We've got more capacity to do testing that we need," he told reporters.

Speaking to the media alongside Dr Bloomfield, director of public health Dr Caroline McElnay addressed the issue of face masks, saying the Ministry of Health was watching advice "very closely".

"The best advice at the moment is that basic hygeine measures - remain the mainstay of our defence against COVID-19."

Wearing masks "could be harmful" - some people end up touching their face more often due to the discomfort, she said.






New Zealand is on its 10th day of a four-week nationwide lockdown - an intense measure introduced by the Government as a means of reducing people's contact and potential exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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