Coronavirus: One more death from COVID-19 in New Zealand, 19 new cases

The coronavirus death toll in New Zealand has risen to five, the Director-General of Health has revealed, with one more death reported on Monday.

The victim is a man in his 80s from the Rosewood retirement home in Christchurch - the third death of a resident there.

There are also 19 more cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, bringing the total to 1349. This is made up of 15 confirmed cases, and four probable.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced the new figures in a press conference from the Beehive Theatrette on Monday afternoon.

Fifteen people are in hospital, four of those in intensive care, while 75 have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. That brings the total number of recovered cases to 546.

There are now 15 COVID-19 clusters - an increase of two - with one at a residential care clinic in Auckland and another "a small outbreak" in Christchurch announced today.

Monday's number of new cases marks the second-smallest daily number reported since the Government's alert level 4 lockdown was introduced. It's one more than Sunday's tally of 18.

After announcing the death on Monday, Dr Bloomfield said there could be more bad news to come out of the Rosewood retirement home.

"We know that because of the underlying vulnerabilities of this group, we need to be prepared for further serious illness and possible deaths," he said.

Of the cluster of 33 coronavirus cases there, 13 are residents.

Speaking about New Zealand's response to COVID-19 after the Director-General of Health, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Kiwis "need to keep going if we're going to be genuinely successful".

"The reason I continue to exercise caution is because we have seen what I call 'lumpy numbers'. We haven't seen something that is consistent at this point," she said.

"It's heading in the right direction, but even one case can tell us we have an issue if we can't trace its origin and we can't tell a story as to how it came to be present.

"What we need at the moment is for everyone to stick to the plan, stick with the rules. Because my concern is if people just look at the numbers without the story it tells us, we may lose the halftime advantage we have."

She said if coronavirus is to be eradicated in New Zealand, it's going to require "extra effort" from Kiwis.

How can I protect myself from COVID-19? 

  • avoid touching the mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands
  • washing your hands before eating
  • carrying a hand sanitiser at all times
  • being particularly mindful of touching your face after using public transport or going to the airport
  • carry tissues at all times to cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing (then dispose of it)
  • not eating shared or communal food
  • avoiding shaking hands, kissing cheeks
  • regularly cleaning and sanitise commonly used surfaces and items, such as phones and keys
  • avoiding close contact with people suffering from or showing symptoms of acute respiratory infection
  • seeking medical attention if you feel unwell.