New Zealanders will learn this afternoon if Covid-19 cases in the community have dropped for a fifth consecutive day.
Daily cases have been steadily shrinking from 75 on Wednesday to just 20 yesterday, as the country – apart from Auckland – lives under alert level 3 restrictions.
The downward trend prompted modeller Shaun Hendy to say lockdown is “doing its job against Delta”, and the possibility of Auckland moving out of alert level 4 this month is “certainly looking more possible”.
But experts fear there could still be a long tail, and the current outbreak could continue to produce more cases for weeks.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will provide an update on case numbers from the Beehive at 1pm.
It is expected the Deputy Prime Minister will also give an update on the supermarket terror attack.
Today’s announcement follows the death of a woman, aged in her 90s, at North Shore Hospital. She is the first person in New Zealand to die from the Delta variant of the virus.
“Every death is a reminder of the damage Covid-19 can cause when it gets into our community,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said yesterday.
The woman had underlying health conditions, which meant it was not clinically appropriate for her to receive ventilator or ICU care.
Her family said they were devastated and shocked by the loss of their loved one.
The Ministry of Health said one of the affected family members was urgingeveryone to take Covid-19 seriously and follow public health advice. His message for New Zealanders is simple: “This is real.”
STORY CONTINUES AFTER BLOG
Yesterday it was reported that 43 cases remain in hospital, and seven of these patients are in intensive care units.
There are currently 782 cases in the community outbreak – 765 in Auckland and 17 are in Wellington.
Thirty remain without an epidemiological link to the outbreak.
Meanwhile, all remaining North Shore locations of interest were removed from the Ministry of Health’s list this morning, before Countdown Northcote was added at 10am. Apart from the supermarket, there are no more locations of interest on Auckland’s North Shore.
There are currently 136 events involving 89 locations. Three new locations were added at 10am, including foodmarts in Papatoetoe and Ōtāhuhu.
Northland was the latest region to move to alert level 3 on Friday, joining the rest of the country.
Auckland remains under lockdown until a review will be made by Cabinet on Tuesday September 14.
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