Covid-19 in our patch
Two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in South Canterbury
Two cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in South Canterbury.
Nigel Trainor, chief executive of the South Canterbury District Health Board, could not confirm which part of the region the cases were from, but said they were not under hospital care.
The two South Canterbury cases were among 78 new cases confirmed in New Zealand yesterday. These 73 new confirmed cases and five probable cases bring the national total to 283.
‘‘The first case is a male in his 20s, who is a close contact of a confirmed case. He is recovering well at home in self-isolation,’’ Trainor said.
‘‘The second case is a male in his 60s, after recent travel to England. He is recovering well at home in selfisolation.’’
Trainor said he expected to see more cases in South Canterbury.
‘‘Isolated cases linked to overseas travel, or close contact with a confirmed case will be followed up by Public Health teams to help stop the spread.’’
Trainor said it was a time for increased vigilance with New Zealand now on level 4, the maximum Covid-19 alert level.
‘‘I would like to ask the South Canterbury community to take responsibility, and do its best ensure the number of coronavirus infections remains low in South Canterbury.
‘‘We can do this by staying at home and practice physical distancing by keeping a 2 metre distance if you’re in the community using an essential service.’’
He said contact tracing was under way with Public Health staff, and close contacts had been asked to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of potential exposure to the virus.
Police dealt with a number of people not complying with Covid-19 lockdown rules in Timaru yesterday, Aoraki Area Commander Inspector Dave Gaskin said.
‘‘We’ve seen a number of people out driving their cars, driving down to the beach to walk their dogs and they can’t do that,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s quite clear, people have been told you can exercise from your house, you can’t drive anywhere to exercise, you can exercise from your house and that’s all you can do.’’
Gaskin said he thought the noncompliance was due to ‘‘ignorance more than anything else’’ but that people needed to appreciate the severity of the situation.
‘‘In lockdown people need to understand the more time they keep away from everyone the more chance we have of saving lives,’’ he said.
‘‘This is not a holiday and that’s the message we need to get out. People must stay at home.’’
He echoed the words of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, that people must stay within their ‘‘bubble’’ of contacts and have as little contact as possible with anyone else.
‘‘For instance, you can’t go to the supermarket with your whole family. You can’t go out with your whole family. There’s no excuse going out more than one at a time,’’ Gaskin said.
‘‘We have been stopping a lot of people today [Thursday] and we will continue stopping people for a period of time until our patience wears thin and then we won’t be doing any more education.’’
Gaskin said they were also aware of a number of non-essential businesses opening yesterday and were working with business owners to educate them on the restrictions.
Timaru was almost deserted on the first day of the level 4 lockdown.
Timaru police found a number of people breaching the lockdown conditions.