Briefing on Covid-19: Deputy Prime Minister: ‘We must not become complacent.’

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The number of Covid-19 cases may be “relatively stable,” but the country cannot afford to become complacent, according to the deputy prime minister, who is urging Aucklanders to get tested this weekend. Watch the most recent government briefing live right here.

Grant Robertson and Dr Caroline McElnay, Director of Public Health, have held the most recent briefing on case numbers, testing, and vaccines.

Watch the update here:

There were 19 new community cases reported today, with just one still to be linked to existing cases.

At this afternoon’s briefing, Robertson said that low number of unlinked cases remained encouraging, and that case numbers had been relatively stable, as they represented expected cases such as household contacts.

“But we must not be complacent,” said Robertson.

“One of the things I’m urging people in Auckland this weekend to do is get tested. We saw 19,000 tests across New Zealand and that’s an excellent number, and we want to keep that level of testing up over the weekend.”

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He said getting the level of testing needed to get an accurate picture on whether the outbreak was contained will be one of the things Cabinet will be thinking about on Monday when it makes a decision on level changes.

He said the first thing that will be looked at on Monday by Cabinet is the public health advice given.

Robertson said everyone would have seen in the past 18 months that the government has been cautious, methodical and careful in its decision making.

“We listen to the advice, we update that advice as close as possible to the time and that would include looking at any mystery cases.”

Yesterday, 19 community cases were reported, one in Upper Hauraki, down from 45 in Auckland on Wednesday.

Robertson also discussed the government’s financial assistance plan during the outbreak, stating that the fourth round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme began this morning.

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He stated that over 652,000 applications totalling $3.3 billion have been approved thus far.

Robertson expressed confidence that the economy will recover.

“A strong public health approach has delivered strong economic outcomes,” he said.

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