Daily Covid-19 update – fewer new cases but Sunday

From today’s briefing from Dr Ashley Bloomfield:

  • 48 new confirmed cases of covid-19 and 10 probable cases (so +58, down from +75 yesterday)
  • 74 people in total have recovered
  • 14 people currently in hospital, two in intensive care who are stable
  • 647 total of cases in New Zealand (up from 589)

That’s a smaller increase than over the last few days but Dr Bloomfield says he does not expect a drop overall – lower numbers may reflect a lower number of tests done on Sunday – fewer couriers on Sunday – holding up test results.

He still says he expects increases over the next 7 to 10 days (it’s been 7-10 for a few days now) and then hopes for a decline.


As at 9.00 am, 31 March 2020
Total to date New in last 24 hours
Number of confirmed cases in New Zealand 600 48
Number of probable cases 47 10
Number of confirmed and probable cases 647 58
Number of cases in hospital 14
Number of recovered cases 74 11
Number of deaths 1

More from RNZ Live:

A comment on modelling – a number of modelling reports have been published. These were updated during the last month to take into account newly emerging evidence. They paint a sobering picture of what the impact of Covid-19 in Aotearoa would be if we were not taking a strict approach, Bloomfield says.

We need to take this virus seriously, he says, and part of taking it seriously is getting the best possible outcome from the level four measures put in place.

Ventilators – we have 533 in NZ. There are also quite a number in the private sector that can be used and more have been ordered from overseas.

Training for medical staff to use ventilators is also underway.

Bloomfield says he cannot be 100% confident Covid-19 isn’t already transmitting through hospitals – but the death of the Greymouth woman triggered changes in the way respiratory illnesses are treated.

Sarah Stuart-Black:

A Covid-19 Local Government response unit has been formed. These measures will help people access medication and food and will help the elderly and disabled.

Wet wipes are a major problem for council’s sewers. Use has increased markedly. Disposing them down the toilet leads to blockage. Always put wet wipes in the rubbish, not the toilet she says.

54 people in temporary accommodation are being flown to Wellington and Christchurch to return home.

People have been congregating in groups at parks and beaches – please don’t gather where others are, don’t take your children to playgrounds or schools.

The Kiwi tradition of passing something over the fence to your neighbour is not encouraged.

The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said.

The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary.

“Since we went into isolation as a nation most New Zealanders have done the right thing and stayed at home to break the chain of transmission, which saves lives,” Peeni Henare said.

“Extending the State of National Emergency ensures we have all the resources, support and powers we need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

“This includes ensuring our civil defence emergency management workers can carry out critical work during this time including managing roads, traffic and public places, issuing first aid, and providing food, shelter and accommodation.

“But this global pandemic has also called on every New Zealander to make sacrifices in their daily lives and we thank them for that,” Peeni Henare said.

Each week, the Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management will provide the Minister with advice on whether the State of National Emergency should be extended again. This will include consideration of the current COVID-19 Alert Level, as Alert Levels decisions and State of Emergency decisions are complementary to each other, but one does not dictate the other.

COVID-19 hospitalisation and death rates estimated

A new study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal reveals the latest hospitalisation and death rates from COVID-19 in mainland China.

Nearly one in five people over the age of 80 who are infected with COVID-19 are likely to require hospitalisation, compared with around 1 percent of people under 30, according to an analysis of 3,665 cases.

The death rate from confirmed COVID-19 cases is estimated at 1.38 percent, while the overall death rate, which includes unconfirmed cases, is estimated at 0.66 percent.

A bob each way for Easter – Jacinda Ardern (RNZ Live):

Easter Trading – it has been agreed that supermarkets will be closed on Good Friday as usual , but can open on Easter Sunday.

Decision was made to avoid people rushing to the supermarket before it closes for two days.

Sounds sensible. Two days off so close together could have been a problem, one day should be manageable.

Case summary – 647 currently. 1391 tests found the 58 new cases overnight. There have been 21,384 tests have been conducted in total.

It’s too soon to draw conclusions on New Zealander’s position, but we do not have enough testing to tell us what we need to know. The more we test, the more it tells us how far our community transmission is and it tells us where it is.

It has been recommended that testing requirements be broadened. People who don’t have a history of travel or exposure to another case can be tested.

It may take a few days for these changes to take effect, but Ardern expects testing to grow – and it needs to grow.

More tests may mean more confirmed cases for a while.

The thing to watch will be whether hospitalisations increase, and also critical cases.

Some differences between wage subsidy schemes in Australia and NZ. Australia’s scheme is paying out in May, while immediacy was important to us.

There have been no decisions as to whether the scheme will be extended further than 12 weeks.

Leave a comment


  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st March 2020

    i think 2m separation outside is fine and probably useless for any length of time inside. So the nuttiness continues.

    Skeggs is basically saying the lockdown is useless if we don’t eliminate the virus and we can’t eliminate it without widespread testing. In other words we have likely chosen the worst of both worlds. And time is running out to change.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  31st March 2020

      I hope that the PM doesn’t get carried away and demand a 400 day lockdown.

      • Duker

         /  31st March 2020

        Thats a mirror that you are using

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  31st March 2020

          May God forbid that I should want a lockdown of more than a year that would see the end of NZ and its economy. There is no country in the world that could sustain that. It would be social and economic suicide.

          Italy is already having social unrest with people out of work and having to beg in the streets.

          • Duker

             /  31st March 2020

            Its you thats getting carried away #straightjacketfits

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st March 2020

              There have been calls for a 400 day lockdown or even an indefinite one by ‘science advisors to the government’. It’s not something I made up.

              And it’s straitjacket; as in narrow.

            • Where have you seen that?

              I have only seen in it in relation to modelling, which looks at various scenarios without calling for any specific measures.

              The modelling, released today by Te Punaha Matatini, shows measures similar to those now in place can suppress the virus for up to 400 days but infections could spike as soon as they are gone, because the population will not have developed any herd immunity.

              The paper compares a “suppression strategy” – a sustained period of restrictions – with a “mitigation strategy”, where controls are lifted for brief periods before being put in place again as infections rise and ICU beds fill up.

              In all scenarios, the lockdown period is modelled to last significantly longer than the initial four weeks that began today.

              However, one of the researchers, University of Auckland Professor Shaun Hendy, told RNZ the current lockdown could be sufficient if all measures were rigidly enforced.


            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st March 2020

              It was a story on MSN news that I saw when I was turning off the computer every day. The maker may have misunderstood the story, but it said that government advisors were advising a 400 day lockdown.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st March 2020

              must have misunderstood.

              I saw it there for days, it was unequivocal.

  2. Duker

     /  31st March 2020

    Meanwhile the number of deaths in Europe at 55,000 per week hasnt yet reached the peaks of some recent previous years. ( that was 70K deaths per week for a short period)

    This gives a baseline the numbers of deaths in various European countries An extra 15,000 per week isnt extraordinary ( thats for 24 countries of the EU)

    European Monitory of Excess Mortality

    • Pink David

       /  31st March 2020

      I suspect you have found Hector’s blog…..

      • Duker

         /  31st March 2020

        Never heard of hector ..anyway I look to original sources to see whats it all about first.

    • Griff.

       /  31st March 2020

      Meanwhile the number of deaths in Europe at 55,000 per week hasnt yet reached the peaks of some recent previous years. ( that was 70K deaths per week for a short period)

      21000 a week dying of Covid 19 and increasing is certainly going to make that spike off the chart in a few weeks once they catch up to the numbers.
      You did read the disclaimer didn’t you? The data set you linked to is three or four weeks behind .

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st March 2020

    The Warehouse and Noel Leeming reopen online for essential goods.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st March 2020

    The Brits have ex Supreme Court judges calling out their police for abuse of power and creating a police state. Our lot are supine to date, hiding below the parapets. Time they spoke up for constitutional protections.

    • Blazer

       /  31st March 2020

      Is that Boris’ Conservative Govt you are talking about then!

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st March 2020

        No, I’m talking about the Brits’ judges keeping an eye out for police exceeding their authority. As here, the police legally act independent of the Govt but accountable to the courts. Only if the courts do their job.

  5. Duker

     /  31st March 2020

    “The death rate from confirmed COVID-19 cases is estimated at 1.38 percent, ”

    But when you look deeper into your link

    we get
    Global Mortality Estimates for the 2009 Influenza Pandemic from the GLaMOR Project: A Modeling Study
    Models models , why do we hate models. This is why
    “We estimate that 2009 global pandemic respiratory mortality was ∼10-fold higher than the World Health Organization’s laboratory-confirmed mortality count”

    Nice round number 10X confirmed count . WOW

    This seems to be the Lancet Infetious Diseases paper mentioned not the other link

    And what does the real paper say
    “Using data on 24 deaths that occurred in mainland China and 165 recoveries outside of China, we estimated the mean duration from onset of symptoms to death to be 17·8 days (95% credible interval [CrI] 16·9–19·2) and to hospital discharge to be 24·7 days (22·9–28·1). In all laboratory confirmed and clinically diagnosed cases from mainland China (n=70 117), we estimated a crude case fatality ratio (adjusted for censoring) of 3·67% (95% CrI 3·56–3·80). However, after further adjusting for demography and under-ascertainment, we obtained a best estimate of the case fatality ratio in China of 1·38% (1·23–1·53)

    Hmmmm best estimate based on 24 deaths and 165 recoveries
    Did you not know this PG ? I wouldnt give it the time of day

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  31st March 2020

      If they were the only ones, I might. But as it is, it’s too small a sample unless there was some way of knowing that they were typical of the cases as a whole.

      • Duker

         /  31st March 2020

        Thats right . They use stats to adjust for a ‘whole population’ but 24 deaths is just so tiny.

        In Europe even 5000 more deaths per week from Covid 19 is only a wiggle in the weekly deaths total of over 50,000 per week
        Its amazing that 5k per week is nothing in the big scheme of things

  6. Duker

     /  31st March 2020

    Good news for those who love the US healthcare System Insurance companies ..its screwing the patients as ever.
    The ‘test’ may be paid for the Government but it seems the ER visit is not , and even if the hospital is part of your insurance companies ‘network’ , many of the ER doctors are employed by ‘providers’ who are not and the bill goes to the patient

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  31st March 2020

      Lightbulb moment….is this why there are so many deaths from it there ??? I know, of course, that they don’t have national health, but hadn’t thought that people might be dying because they had no cover for this virus.


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