Case numbers might be falling, but deputy prime minister Grant Robertson says the government will not be relaxing restrictions until it is confident there are no unknown cases lurking in the community.
Robertson and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield have given a briefing on the latest Covid-19 situation.
Watch it here:
Dr Bloomfield said there were 20 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today.
Yesterday, the death of a woman from Covid-19 was reported, along with 20 new cases of Covid-19 in the community.
Dr Bloomfield said anyone with any symptoms were the most important group to get tested.
“Please don’t just put this down to a cold, or decide for yourself it is something minor. Please do get a test.
“So saying, two weeks of alert level 4 across the country has lead to a much lower rate of all coughs and colds across the country, because the spread was stopped.”
Robertson said he wanted to see testing numbers in Auckland increase so the country can be sure the 20 cases yesterday were the only cases out there.
He pointed out the outbreak in Victoria where restrictions were eased when cases went down, and have now shot back up.
“We’ve got to do this once and we’ve got to do it right”
He called for all contacts of confirmed cases to get all their tests.
“With Delta, there’s no room for complacency”
A comprehensive plan of testing will be rolled out in Auckland over the next couple of weeks, Robertson said.
When asked if New Zealand had flattened the curve, Bloomfield said it was really clear the country was heading in the right direction, but authorities needed to be sure those are the only 20 cases out there.
He said the important thing was that not even one case could slip the net, because Delta was so transmissible. He said that was why the next week is going to be critical.
But he also hinted at a possible shift to alert level two for those outside Auckland, saying advice was being drafted today around what a strengthened alert level two might look like, with a decision to be announced tomorrow.
Dr Bloomfield also paid tribute to all the people in quarantine.
“I want to recognise the sacrifice, inconvenience and commitment they are making to keep themselves, their whanau and indeed the whole country, safe.”
Attack victims update
Robertson also provided an update on those injured in Friday’s terror attack. He said of those injured in the terror attack, three remain critical but stable in ICU in Auckland Hospital and another remains stable.
One other person has been released from hospital.
The 32-year-old Sri Lankan national who was shot dead by police after stabbing six people inside Countdown LynnMall in Auckland was named late last night as Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen.
Suppression orders that prevented the publication of details about the his identity, background and immigration status lapsed.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called unsuccessful attempts to have the terrorist stripped of his refugee status a “frustrating process”.