David Clark optimistic about progress before alert level announcement

Health Minister David Clark is remaining tight-lipped about if he thinks we should move to alert level 2 tomorrow - but admits he has a good feeling about the progress being made.

On Monday the Prime Minister will announce when the country will move down an alert level. But on Sunday it was the Health Minister with some cautious optimism.

"I won't be getting ahead of Cabinet decisions," Clark said.

"That is something I want to preserve for my conversation with Cabinet, I do feel good about the progress we're making though."

There were no deaths and just two new cases on Sunday. One of those is a household contact linked to the St Margaret's Rest Home cluster in Auckland, the other is someone who has travelled back from overseas.

Just two people are in hospital with COVID-19, neither in ICU.

And there was more good news for the health sector today with a $160 million funding increase for Pharmac over four years.

The cash injection will see an extra $10m pumped into Pharmac's 2020/21 budget, with the other $150m spread out over the next three years.

Clark has also promised extra funding will be available for any COVID-19 vaccine.

"We will do whatever it takes to make sure that Pharmac has the resource to purchase a vaccine," he said.

But with any vaccine over a year away, Labour will have to make it back into Government first to fulfil that promise.

The Health Minister made another announcement on Sunday, announcing he's standing for re-election.

Clark has held on to his Dunedin North seat since 2011 and says local supporters asked him to stand again.

That's despite him getting into trouble with the Prime Minister earlier this year for going on a bike ride and driving his family to the beach while New Zealand was under lockdown.

Time will tell whether or not the Dunedin faithful decide Clark deserves another term, or elects for change.