A second death from the Rosewood resthome and an elderly man in Wellington take the NZ death toll from Covid-19 to four. 

Two more elderly New Zealanders with underlying conditions have died from Covid-19, taking the national total to four deaths. 

Dr Caroline McElnay, the Director of Public Health, said one was at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch, a man in his 70s from the Rosewood rest home from which a woman in her 90s had also died on Thursday. A total of 30 Rosewood residents had tested positive, and 20 had been moved to Burwood as part of a cluster management plan by the Canterbury District Health Board.

The second death reported today was a man in his 80s who died at Wellington hospital on Friday.  He was linked to an existing Covid-19 cluster but the Ministry of Health would not identify the cluster out of consideration for his family. The man had been in hospital since March 28.

McElnay said the former Rosewood residents were a group of frail, elderly people. “I’ve been assured that all the residents who have been moved to Burwood are being managed and given the right care … It can be an unpleasant illness and sadly we do know people can die from it.”

She warned that health officials “cannot rule out further serious illnesses or deaths” associated with Rosewood.

Another cluster announced yesterday was at a second Christchurch aged care residential facility, known as George Manning, with 14 people affected.

The total number of confirmed and probable cases rose 29 to 1312 with 15 in hospital, 5 in intensive care, 1, in Dunedin Hospital being critical. A total of 422 people are confirmed as having recovered from the illness, up 49 since yesterday, and for the second consecutive day higher than the number of new confirmed cases.

The ministry said there was 1 new cluster, taking the total of significant clusters to 13, with a Bluff wedding (85), the Marist College group (85) and a Matamata St Patrick’s Day gathering (70) still the highest numbers affected. McElnay gave more details about two clusters the Ministry had previously withheld information about – one was an Auckland cluster which she said arose from a private party, the other at a Spectrum Daycare facility for intellectually disabled patients and had led to 35 positive cases of Covid-19.

McElnay said 3061 tests had been achieved on Friday, taking the seven day average to 3619 and the total since the outbreak to 58,746.

Tim Murphy is co-editor of Newsroom. He writes about politics, Auckland, and media. Twitter: @tmurphynz

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