Coronavirus: Further $200 million to be spent on PPE for frontline health and essential workers

Another $200 million will go towards securing an ongoing supply of PPE for health staff and essential workers, Health Minister David Clark says.

Clark admits distribution has been a challenge but more gear is being ordered and will soon be dispatched.

"Our frontline health staff do incredibly important work caring for New Zealanders," he said. "They need and deserve our support."

In the next eight weeks, he expects 75 million protective items will be delivered including masks, gowns, and gloves.

The Government has also unlocked a $26 million funding boost for the aged care sector, a further $35m for Pharmac for essential medicines, and $15m to continue the Unite Against COVID-19 public health campaign.

Clark said more money is vital to protect New Zealand's most vulnerable.

"Many health care providers are incurring new costs directly related to COVID-19 - none more so than residential aged care, which takes care of some of our most vulnerable people."

Clark reiterated that for now, New Zealand has enough equipment.

"This week we moved to a national distribution system for face masks, with the supply of other PPE items to follow," he said.

"Already we have around 20 million masks, 9.4 million pairs of gloves, 1.2 million aprons and other items of PPE in stock - but we know we will need more in [the] coming months."