Daily Covid-19 update – 2 more deaths, fewer new cases

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay:

While the number of new cases is down again, today just 8 (2 confirmed, 6 probable), there have been two more deaths, bringing the total deaths to 11.

One was a man in his 90s at Waikato Hospital, the other was a woman in her 80s at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch. That makes 7 of the 11 dead coming from the Rosewood Rest Home.

14 people are in hospital with Covid-19, three are in ICU, 2 are still critical

816 reported cases have recovered, and increase of 46.

So the number of new cases keeps dropping and is now very low, and more people are recovering.

The deaths are unfortunate, but appear to be from infected clusters from some time ago, so generally we seem to be on an improving track.

The MOH is still considering if they will allow any changes going forward to patients in hospital – whether family members will be allowed to be there when someone is in hospital/ICU.


Grant Robertson was also at the media conference.

The Wage Subsidy scheme has so far paid out $9.9bn since it was set up on 17 March

He says the government is still considering what is the best way to undertake contract tracing on the national level – whether than involves using a card that is sent to every person in the country, an app on phones etc.

Grant Robertson says the NRL’s plans to restart in late May seems ambitious to him and that there would need to be serious talks between NZ and Aus governments about whether the Warriors would be allowed into Australia and the quarantine conditions they’d need to go through. Says that he hasn’t been in talks with NRL officials but they have been in touch with Sport New Zealand.

On top of that, Grant Robertson says sport at professional/amateur level still won’t be played under lockdown level three but says there would be some available at level two – officials are working on the details of that.


Random testing for Covid-19 is underway in Christchurch to try and determine the extent of its community spread.

Pegasus Health has set up a clinic outside the Moorhouse Avenue Pak’n Save, to take swabs from about 250 to 300 volunteers without symptoms of the virus.

It follows random testing in Queenstown yesterday results are expected within 48 hours.

Chief executive of Pegasus Health, Vince Barry says the data will be shared with the Ministry of Health to help the government work out when to lift lockdown restrictions.

He says about 80 tests have been done so far, and it’s a fairly quick process for volunteers who can either drive through or walk up.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/414460/live-covid-19-updates-from-new-zealand-and-around-the-world-on-17-april

Preliminary results from Queenstown:

The Southern District Health Board says it has identified one more case of Covid-19 following its random testing of 340 people at a pop up centre at Pak n Save in Queenstown yesterday.

The DHB has received around two-thirds of the results back and all but one have been negative so far. It says it expects to get the remaining results tomorrow.
As at 9.00 am, 17 April 2020
Total Change in last 24 hours
Number of confirmed cases in New Zealand 1,086 2
Number of probable cases 323 6
Number of confirmed and probable cases 1,409 8
Number of cases currently in hospital 14 2
Number of recovered cases 816 46
Number of deaths 11 2

As at 9.00 am, 17 April 2020

Total cases of COVID-19 by DHB

Lab testing for COVID-19 as at 9.00 am 17 April
Lab Testing Tests Date
Total tested yesterday 4,241 16 April 2020
7-day rolling average 2,674 10 April to 16 April 2020
Total tested to date 74,401 22 January to 16 April 2020
Supplies in stock 67,702 17 April 2020

Source: ESR EpiSurv extract as at 09:00 17 April 2020


This graph published today by the Te Pūnaha Matatini research cluster, which is modelling the spread of Covid-19 cases in New Zealand, shows the number of new cases continuing to trend down over the next few days.

The model estimates that, had there been no lockdown, there would be nearly 400 new cases reported each day by now.

“R” represents the number of other people that each person with Covid-19 infects. Once R falls below 1, there are not enough new cases to replace older ones and so the virus begins to peter out.

New Zealand’s estimated R-value is now 0.5 – well below 1. It means that for every two existing cases of Covid-19, only one new person is being infected.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/414460/live-covid-19-updates-from-new-zealand-and-around-the-world-on-17-april

Leave a comment

34 Comments

  1. David

     /  17th April 2020

    Wow, just 270 active cases and 2 new confirmed. Good work Ardern.

    Reply
  2. David

     /  17th April 2020

    Lets also not forget that we got off lightly thanks to be a small isolated island of fantasticness but the world really needs to lay some blame with China and the WHO:

    “The coronavirus Covid-19 has now officially infected more than two million people. Many millions more must have had the virus in a mild form and not required medical intervention or have been asymptomatic. Never has a contagion spread so rapidly. Just one month ago, China accounted for 99 per cent of all global infections. Today, its tally represents just 4 per cent. Around 150,000 people have died from the virus or complications associated with its transmission.

    The great tragedy is that it could have been prevented. The first signs of a new virus in Wuhan in China were hushed up by local authorities until it was too late to contain. Beijing is now engaged in a major propaganda effort to deflect blame. But there is another organisation that needs to be called to account. The World Health Organisation (WHO) failed in its basic function of stopping localised epidemics becoming pandemics. Health officials in Taiwan say the WHO did not pass on the warning they gave last December about a new coronavirus with human-to-human transmission.

    The suggestion that the Taiwanese warning was ignored because China forbids international organisations of which it is a member from recognising the island’s existence beggars belief, given the seriousness of what has happened.

    Yet Donald Trump is the only world leader who has been prepared to point the finger at the WHO’s failings – and has withdrawn America’s $400 million funding pending a review of its role in the disaster. It says much about the anti-Trump obsession of his detractors that even as thousands die and economies crash, they should choose to turn on the American president rather than recognise where true culpability resides.”

    Reply
    • Griff.

       /  17th April 2020

      Trump will point his finger where ever he thinks will distract his fan base of easily mislead suckers.
      Whats new?

      Reply
      • David

         /  17th April 2020

        This was from the UK press. I can see his thinking which is more developer than politician, you give someone 100s of millions a year and they miss something that causes a trillion or two of damage you probably suspend payment and find out what the hell happened.
        In light of the correspondence released by the Taiwanese that there was a human to human novel corona virus in China in December that they gave to the WHO who then said they didnt recognize Taiwan deserves some scrutiny wouldnt you think.
        Our government has made similar noises just not with the funding cut so has the British and I would imagine a few more will too.

        Reply
    • david in aus

       /  17th April 2020

      I think leaders and people that want to blame China are the ones who are the most incompetent. Most of the cases in Australia/NZ are from Europe and America and not Asia.

      The Europeans and Americans are the ones to ‘blame’ for local cases. We had no warning from those countries. Their poor practices let the virus spread far and wide.

      The reality is this virus is highly infectious and most importantly has asymptomatic carriers, that is why it is so devastating.

      Isn’t it curious that countries closest to China managed this the best? Suggesting countries around the world had enough warning time, especially those who were the worst affected in the West. By the time there was a lockdown in China, the most unprecedented move in history and widely condemned as actions of a totalitarian state. The US was offering their CDC experts to China…..remember that, and not their own preparations. They are paying for their hubris.

      The UK and the US blaming China, this is to deflect from their own mismanagement.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  17th April 2020

        Experience in managing Sars seems to have helped.
        The early closeoff of flights from China amde a difference …ask the Italians where ALL there early cases came from before you let China off the hook. There was a quite a reasonable sized Chinese community in Northern Italy
        London still had direct flights from Wuhan still quite late as well.
        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/24/coronavirus-hunt-2000-travellers-flew-wuhan-britain-last-fortnight/

        Reply
        • david in aus

           /  17th April 2020

          Italy closed flights from China early. That is not enough, you need to test and have surveillance. South Korea still had flights from China way after Italy stopped flights.

          It only takes one case to start an epidemic. You need a system.

          Not to defend the police state of China. But the first country always has the hardest time, identifying the threat, assessing the spread. The countrys following have an easier time. But they squandered the luxury of time for preparation.

          Reply
    • Griff.

       /  17th April 2020

      Reply
      • Griff.

         /  17th April 2020

        david in aus
        just to be clear that was not aimed at you
        You seem to be the most accurately informed and unbiased of our daves on Covid .

        Reply
  3. Why are the numbers of active cases not reported ? The reporting makes it sound as if there are 1400+ cases in NZ, and I would bet that a lot of people think that this is the actual number. Nowhere on these stats is the number of active cases mentioned.

    Reply
    • “Why are the numbers of active cases not reported ?”

      They’re there, you just need to do a simple sum:
      Number of confirmed and probable cases 1,409
      Number of recovered cases 816
      Number of active cases 593

      Worldometer details the approximate number of active cases for all countries.
      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

      Reply
    • David

       /  17th April 2020

      Only 270 and if we carry on like this none in a weeks time.

      Reply
      • I did the simple sum and came up with 593. But the number of confirmed and confirmed and probable cases comes first, and that’s what people see. I wouldn’t mind betting that a lot of people think that we have 1400+ cases. I see no reason why active cases should not be mentioned. For all anyone knows, it could be 1400+ exclusive of the recovered ones. It looks like it. It’s very misleading.

        Reply
  4. For anyone interested in data modelling I have added a bit of info and a chart to the post.

    Reply
  5. Pink David

     /  17th April 2020

    “This graph published today by the Te Pūnaha Matatini research cluster, which is modelling the spread of Covid-19 cases in New Zealand, shows the number of new cases continuing to trend down over the next few days.

    The model estimates that, had there been no lockdown, there would be nearly 400 new cases reported each day by now.

    “R” represents the number of other people that each person with Covid-19 infects. Once R falls below 1, there are not enough new cases to replace older ones and so the virus begins to peter out.

    New Zealand’s estimated R-value is now 0.5 – well below 1. It means that for every two existing cases of Covid-19, only one new person is being infected.”

    They can validate the model by applying the situation in Sweden and seeing how it works out.

    Reply
    • “They can validate the model by applying the situation in Sweden and seeing how it works out.’

      Add a multiplier of 120 to deaths?

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  17th April 2020

        There claim is the model shows many more would have died in NZ without the lockdown. That can be tested using the model to check what they believe should have happened in Sweden and compare results.

        Science without baselines is not science.

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  17th April 2020

          https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/
          Well what do you know
          Sweden seems to be close to their projections for level 2 only in NZ to me.
          600 cases a day and 130 deaths .
          So what was your point Pink Dave?

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  17th April 2020

            Use the model.

            Reply
          • Griff.

             /  17th April 2020

            Slowly
            I know its hard when you live in lala land .
            Above in Pete’s post is a graph of the outputs from the model including the projection for level two .

            See the pretty red curve that is what would happen if we stayed at level 2 or what should have happened in Sweden as they did stay at a level 2 response.
            The red line is simply an exponential curve generated by a RO over 1.
            In my link is the Swedish numbers over time.
            The Swedish daily case numbers was higher than ours on the 25 of march At 200 a day Their response is as we were at level two.
            They are now getting about 600 cases a day again higher than the 400 the model suggests as you would expect with their higher starting point
            The slope of the curve for the Swedish data is very similar to the slope of the curve predicted by the model .The Swedish numbers now are congruent with what the model predicts for their level of response.

            You are unable to grok even the most basic facts.
            You get rubbish from twitter and think it is science even after I have pointed your interpretations are nonsense or your data is not what you think it is .
            You don’t understand enough math to cope with the concepts involved in modelling .
            What are you a sales and marketing moron a MBA or or something else equally as useless ?

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  18th April 2020

              “Slowly
              I know its hard when you live in lala land .”

              Griff, you really are a bit dim. The reason they should validate the model is that that would be science. It is very rare for there to be an opportunity to test a predictive model against multiple real world scenarios.

              They can run it against Sweden, Australia, Taiwan etc and see if the model holds up. That would actually be science. Something you very clearly don’t understand.

        • oldlaker

           /  17th April 2020

          Interesting point from The Spectator on the dangers of comparing countries’ performance… “People have not been slow to blame higher Swedish death rates relative to those in Norway or Denmark on the more relaxed lockdown in Sweden. One could just as easily point out that Swedish death rates are much lower than in countries with very strict lockdowns such as the UK, France and Germany.”

          Reply
          • Griff.

             /  18th April 2020

            One could point out I made no reference to deaths rates and neither does the model .

            One could also point out timing and extent of the lock down has some result .
            England and Germany instituted lock down when they already had a higher rate of infection than Norway.

            One could also point out Sweden is presently experiencing an exponential rate of increase in new cases.
            England, Denmark, Norway and Germany are not.

            What do R0 values mean?
            Three possibilities exist for the potential spread or decline of a disease, depending on its R0 value:

            If R0 is less than 1, each existing infection causes less than one new infection. In this case, the disease will decline and eventually die out.
            If R0 equals 1, each existing infection causes one new infection. The disease will stay alive and stable, but there won’t be an outbreak or an epidemic.
            If R0 is more than 1, each existing infection causes more than one new infection. The disease will spread between people, and there may be an outbreak or epidemic.

            In all cases the result of lock down has been to reduce RO to below 1 .
            Norway has not locked down and its RO is greater then one.

            This is a basic math problem that many on here seem to have trouble coping with .
            Sad.

            .

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  18th April 2020

              That was my error initially , that even though flu deaths are far more common than people think, the deaths and hospitalisations would still plateau/fluctuate over the winter months. Howver Covid would continue to climb , when conditions in crowded cities were ideal, until severe lockdowns occurred. Some countries are happy to live with a considerable death rate for a long time, but they are stuck with that.
              We have options and because it’s not yet winter are in the best postition.
              One the worst affected areas in the most southern , and that has a number of factors other the cold. But it could terrible for Auckland and Wellington to have a proportional effect

            • Southern 214 total cases) was relatively bad mainly for two reasons – the World Hereford Conference in Queenstown (33 cases), and in particular a wedding in Bluff (96 cases). That’s bad luck with timing but could happen anywhere.

              The same day the wedding was in Bluff close family of mine who we are in contact with a lot had a wedding to go to in Queenstown, but decided not to go, and that occasion was scaled back a lot (people had traveled from overseas to it). I’m sure there are quite a few close misses.

            • Duker

               /  18th April 2020

              Didn’t the wedding and the conference to some extent produce cases in other regions as they returned. The cluster has those numbers but they are distributed, while the Catholic school in Auckland is all one region.
              It’s probably best to try not to mix that data and work backwards and think all those 2 clusters are counted in Soutland when it’s the place patients are resident

            • Pink David

               /  18th April 2020

              “One could also point out timing and extent of the lock down has some result .”

              What result has it had? There are two paper on it already, perhaps you can compare your results with those?

  6. Preliminary results from Queenstown:
    The Southern District Health Board says it has identified one more case of Covid-19 following its random testing of 340 people at a pop up centre at Pak n Save in Queenstown yesterday.

    The DHB has received around two-thirds of the results back and all but one have been negative so far. It says it expects to get the remaining results tomorrow.
    So just one positive from about 200 tests from a semi-random sample.

    Reply
    • David

       /  17th April 2020

      Thats not good, lets hope the rest come back negative. Stamping it out kinda feels impossible.

      Reply

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