May 19, 2020
Ministry of Health: No new cases of COVID-19
Media Release: No new cases of COVID-19
Date: 19th May 2020
Today we have no new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
However, our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 today increases by four. These cases are people who returned to New Zealand from the Greg Mortimer cruise ship in April and who had all tested positive for COVID-19 in Uruguay. They were classified as being under investigation while we were awaiting information from Uruguay to avoid them being double-counted by the World Health Organisation. We have now confirmed these cases were not reported by Uruguay. All four have recovered.
We have previously reported reclassifying three cases. The fourth case is a person who tested positive in Uruguay, then returned a negative test result upon return to New Zealand. The person went into quarantine at an Auckland hotel, along with all other returned passengers from the Greg Mortimer, and then tested positive. So that person is now also a confirmed case of COVID-19.
That means New Zealand has 1,153 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 350 probable cases, for a combined total of 1,503.
We have 1,442 people recorded as having recovered from COVID-19, an increase of nine on yesterday. 96% of all confirmed and probable cases have recovered.
Today we have two people receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19 – one each in Auckland and Middlemore hospitals. Neither are in the ICU.
There are no additional deaths to report.
Our laboratories yesterday completed 3,125 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 233,843.
World Health Assembly
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield participated in the World Health Assembly last night.
A number of Heads of State provided opening remarks to the Assembly including Angela Merkel the German Chancellor and Presidents Macron from France and Xi JinPing from China. There was strong support for global cooperation in the response to COVID-19.
The WHO Director-General spoke at the beginning of the meeting, announcing that he intends to initiate an independent evaluation of the COVID-19 response to make recommendations to improve national and global pandemic preparedness in light of COVID-19.
Timing of that evaluation is still to be announced – the WHO Director-General said it will take place at the earliest possible moment.
Like other countries, New Zealand’s strong focus remains on fighting this pandemic right now.
Dr Bloomfield says the evaluation will provide a good opportunity for New Zealand to share our experience.
“The meeting has paused and will reconvene tonight. I look forward to seeing the final record from the meeting, and in particular to seeing the key themes for all the different country statements.”
World Family Doctor Day
Today it’s World Family Doctor Day, which is a great opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding work of New Zealand’s 5500 GPs who are mainstays of our frontline health workforce.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen GPs adapt the way they work so they can help their communities in the best way possible. They’ve introduced remote consultations as well as testing, diagnosing and treating patients with COVID-19.
“They’ve played a significant part in our COVID-19 response and I’m sure all of New Zealand will join me in expressing our thanks,” Dr Bloomfield says.
Contact tracing app
The Prime Minister announced yesterday that tomorrow we will be making available the Government’s contact tracing app. It will be available for download tomorrow and more details about it will be provided in tomorrow’s press conference.
Name: Peter Abernethy
Phone: 021 366 111
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