Covid-19: What happened in New Zealand on 5 September

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As Covid-19 spreads around the world, it can be daunting keeping up with the information. For RNZ, our responsibility is to give you verified, up to the minute, trustworthy information to help you make decisions about your lives and your health. We’ll also be asking questions of officials and decision makers about how they’re responding to the virus. Our aim is to keep you informed.

There were three new cases and two deaths in New Zealand over the past 24 hours, including former Cook Islands Prime Minister Dr Joe Williams, bute the country has still been ranked the second best at dealing with Covid-19.

Top left to bottom right: Covid-19, Dr Joe Williams, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Auckland public on Queen St.

Top left to bottom right: Covid-19, Dr Joe Williams, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Auckland public on Queen St. Photo: RNZ / AFP / 123RF

Three new cases, two deaths in past 24 hours

Of the three cases, two were from the community and one was imported.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said both community cases have been epidemiologically linked to the Auckland cluster.

“One case has been linked as a close contact to the Americold household sub-cluster and the other is a close contact of a confirmed case linked to the Mount Roskill Evangelical Church sub-cluster.”

The imported case is a young child linked to a previously identified case who arrived from India on 23 August. The child was already in quarantine with family members.

There are two people in hospital with the coronavirus – one on a ward in North Shore Hospital and one in intensive care in Waikato Hospital.

There are 77 people linked to the community cluster at the Auckland quarantine facility, including 60 people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

There are now 112 active cases in New Zealand, with one of the previously reported cases now recovered.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in New Zealand is now 1416.

New Zealand’s labs processed 9470 tests yesterday, with more than 800,000 tests now carried out in this country.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP – don’t show up at a medical centre

Dr Joe Williams dies after contracting Covid-19

Dr Joe Williams.

Dr Joe Williams. Photo: RNZ / Nick Munro

The former Cook Islands Prime Minister and prominent doctor has died in Auckland after contracting Covid-19.

The 82-year-old had been admitted to hospital on 13 August and passed away last night.

Dr Williams’ death is the second this week associated to the latest Auckland outbreak of the coronavirus.

The Pasifika Medical Association announced his passing, saying he was a well-respected and much loved man.

NZ ranked second safest Covid-19 country by Forbes

New Zealand ranks second in the latest Forbes report on the safest countries during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Germany took out the top spot, with South Korea in third, followed by Switzerland and Japan.

The United Kingdom came in at 31, Sweden 49 and the United States 55.

The study assessed 250 countries on the efficiency of their quarantine systems, health readiness, and management and detection of the virus.

See all Kogonuso coverage of Covid-19

Repatriated Cook Islanders test negative for Covid-19

All 66 people on today’s Cook Islands repatriation flight from New Zealand have tested negative for Covid-19, the health ministry, Te Marae Ora, says.

Before the plane’s departure, it was unclear how many of those booked on the flight would be allowed to board as not all of the passengers’ test results had been returned.

However, a Te Marae Ora spokesperson said the results came back in time for everyone to catch the plane.

The passengers were required to wear masks during the flight, which landed in Rarotonga at about 12.30pm.

Trans-Tasman travel not ready yet – government

The government is reacting cautiously to the propspect of resuming flights between Covid-free parts of Australia and New Zealand.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has raised the idea in talks with Jacinda Ardern.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (R) reacts as he stands with the Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: AFP

Morrison said his country will be ready to welcome New Zealanders once its chief medical officer agrees a set of arrangements for trans-Tasman travel.

He predicts that would boost tourism in Covid-free parts of Australia, such as Queensland and New South Wales.

But a spokesperson for Jacinda Ardern said the coronavirus is still present in some Australian states and there are cases in Auckland, so now is not the time to open New Zealand’s borders.

The spokesperson said people returning from an Australian holiday would still need to stay in quarantine for two weeks.

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