The number of confirmed and probable cases of Coronavirus in New Zealand has risen by 40 overnight, bringing the total number to 155.
This means 155 people in New Zealand have, or had, the virus.
Director-General of the Ministry of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says there were 40 new cases of COVID-19 as at 10 am this morning, as well as three new probable cases. Meanwhile, 12 cases have been recovered.
Bloomfield says the probable cases relate to a person who has returned a negative laboratory test result but the clinician looking after the person has diagnosed the probable case due to their exposure history and their clinical symptoms.
"These cases are treated as if they were a positive laboratory-confirmed case.”
Recent travel from overseas is still the main driver of the new infections, says Bloomfield.
"Anybody who has recently travelled from overseas should already be in strict self-isolation. Close household contacts should be particularly vigilant for any symptoms they may develop."
At this point, four cases are classified as community transmission – three in Auckland and one in Wairarapa.
"In these cases, we have been unable to confirm a definite link to overseas travel or to an existing confirmed case. Contact tracing is underway for all cases."
The Ministry of Health says laboratories are working to process and clear test results as quickly as possible and anyone who has been tested is expected to be in strict self-isolation until advised of the result of their test.
"So far, we have information on around one-third of the cases reported today and all of those have a link to overseas travel, including being in the same household as someone who has returned from overseas, or they have attended a known event where transmission was occurring (e.g. World Hereford cattle conference in Queenstown recently) or are close contacts of a confirmed case."
More than 900 laboratory tests were carried out yesterday, bringing the total number of completed tests to over 8300.
"As you will all be aware, we are preparing to move to Alert level 4. There is a clear consensus that the sooner we do this the better and this gives New Zealand our best chance of breaking the chain of community transmission. This will require all our efforts and I strongly urge all New Zealanders to play their part."
Details for each of the confirmed cases will be on the Ministry of Health website as soon as it is finalised. The website will continue to be updated as fuller information is received.