Election Live, October 11: One million Covid-19 tests completed; leaders begin homestretch of campaign

Welcome to The Spinoff’s Election Live for October 11, bringing you the latest on election 2020 and other NZ news. The essential campaign dates are hereFor all you need to know about the cannabis referendum click here. For the assisted dying referendum click here. Explore the parties’ pledges at Policy. I’m on catherine@thespinoff.co.nz.

1.00pm: One new case at the border

Today’s Covid-19 update has just arrived from the Ministry of Health. Here’s what it says:

The one imported case being reported today arrived from India on 26 September. The person has been in a managed isolation facility since arrival. They have tested positive at our Auckland quarantine facility, having previously been identified as a close contact of two earlier confirmed cases.

This reinforces the importance of our managed isolation process and multiple testing requirements in detecting COVID-19 at the border.

Our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is 1,515, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization. There are no additional recovered cases today.

Our total number of active cases is now 45 – all imported cases. There are no active community cases of COVID-19. No one is in hospital with COVID-19 today.

One million tests

Yesterday our laboratories processed 3,809 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,000,764. The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says reaching the million test mark is significant.

“The milestone of a million tests reflects a sustained team effort,” says Dr Bloomfield. “I want to recognise everyone who has been tested to date, and the skilled workforce carrying out this testing.

“Each one of those tests has contributed to our knowledge about the virus and its prevalence in New Zealand. To everyone who has been part of the process, I want to acknowledge and thank you for your contribution. You have made a difference.

“Testing will continue to be a cornerstone of our collective response to COVID-19.”

12.55pm: Ministry of Health update arriving soon

Today’s update on Covid-19 cases will be delivered by media release. We’ll have the numbers for you as soon as they arrive in our inbox.

11.30am: Trump considered Superman stunt

Presented without comment, because what is there left to say?

“In several phone calls last weekend from the presidential suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Mr. Trump shared an idea he was considering: When he left the hospital, he wanted to appear frail at first when people saw him, according to people with knowledge of the conversations. But underneath his button-down dress shirt, he would wear a Superman T-shirt, which he would reveal as a symbol of strength when he ripped open the top layer. He ultimately did not go ahead with the stunt.”

Source

11.15am: Billionaire America’s Cup owners could be allowed in

Billionaire owners of international America’s Cup teams could be allowed into the country after being deemed “critical workers” by the government, the NZ Herald reports. Earlier this year America’s Cup racing staff and their families were given leave to enter New Zealand in advance of the 2021 event. Now MBIE says the team owners could also be let in under the “other critical workers” category.

As the Herald reports, the border exemption would open the door to Britain’s richest man, Jim Ratcliffe, who owns Ineos Team UK, and the owner of luxury Italian fashion house Prada, Patrizio Bertelli, who owns team Luna Rossa Prada.

8.45am: Today on the campaign

Judith Collins is in Takapuna this morning, and later watching the Bledisloe Cup match with supporters in Karaka.

Jacinda Ardern is appearing at a Labour rally at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington at 12.30pm.

Marama Davidson and James Shaw are appearing on TVNZ’s Q&A at 9am. Later Davidson appears in the Marae leaders’ discussion (10.30am) and Shaw is in Raglan to make an announcement on the Green Party’s arts and culture policy.

Winston Peters is in Palmerston North, where he’ll be making a policy announcement at 3pm. He is also appearing on The Hui with Mihi Forbes at 9.30am.

8am: Yesterday’s headlines

Four new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation were announced. New Zealand has had no active cases in the community since October 7.

It was a busy day of campaigning for party leaders in Auckland with exactly one week left to go before the election.

The Green Party promised to offer free counselling services to all those under 25 and create New Zealand’s first Minister of Mental Health if elected to government.

The Labour Party promised an additional $60 million to boost broadband infrastructure in the regions and rural areas.

The second US presidential debate has been cancelled following Donald Trump’s refusal to take part in a virtual event. Trump also announced his first in-person events since his Covid-19 diagnosis.



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