Director of health Ashley Bloomfield, who reads the numbers that will define how the rest of this year plays out (Illustration: Simon Chesterman)
Director of health Ashley Bloomfield, who reads the numbers that will define how the rest of this year plays out (Illustration: Simon Chesterman)

SocietyApril 17, 2020

Covid-19: New Zealand cases mapped and charted, April 17

Director of health Ashley Bloomfield, who reads the numbers that will define how the rest of this year plays out (Illustration: Simon Chesterman)
Director of health Ashley Bloomfield, who reads the numbers that will define how the rest of this year plays out (Illustration: Simon Chesterman)

The latest in our series of charts, graphics and data visualisations by Chris McDowall. David Garcia helped create today’s charts.

This work is entirely funded by the generosity of The Spinoff Members

These posts collate the most recent statistics and present them as charts and maps. The Ministry of Health typically publishes data updates in the early afternoon, which describe the situation at 9am on the day of release. These data visualisations are interactive – use your mouse or thumb to hover over each graph for more detail.

Note for users of The Spinoff app: if the charts below are not appearing, please update your app to the latest version.

This afternoon’s Ministry of Health figures report that the total number of confirmed and probable Covid-19 cases stands at 1,409 (1,086 confirmed and 323 probable). A total of 816 people have recovered, an increase of 42 since yesterday. There were six new confirmed cases reported in the last 24 hours and nine new probable cases.

Sadly, there were two deaths overnight. One was in Waikato Hospital, a man in his 90s who died yesterday. His case was linked to the Matamata cluster. The second was a woman in her 80s who died in Burwood Hospital yesterday. She had previously been a resident of the Rosewood rest home, which has now been linked to seven deaths.

The number of significant clusters with 10 or more cases remains at 16. There are 14 people in hospital, which is two more than yesterday. There are now three people in intensive care units. Two of these patients remain in a critical condition.

Yesterday, 4,241 tests were processed. The ministry reported averaging 2,674 Covid-19 lab tests per day during the week ending April 16 – an average pulled down by relatively low testing during the Easter period. A total of 74,401 lab tests have been conducted since January 22. There are 67,702 test supplies in stock.

This chart compares active and recovered cases. Active cases are confirmed or probable cases of Covid-19 where the person has neither recovered nor died. Recovered cases are people who were once an active case, but are at least 10 days since onset and have not exhibited any symptoms for 48 hours.

For the third day, Ministry of Health statistics show more recovered than active cases. The number of active cases dropped again, from 622 to 582 this morning. The overall downward trend of active case counts that started around April 8 continues.

This table summarises counts of active, recovered and deceased cases by district health board. It shows where the different types of cases are. Note the difference that a geographic lens places on the situation. There are still several DHBs where the number of active cases is greater than the count of recovered people. This include Waikato (102 active, 80 recovered), Hawke’s Bay (23 active, 18 recovered) and Northland (17 active, 9 recovered). Wairarapa is the only district with no active cases.

The ministry released data about the number of people tested and how many tests have been conducted broken down by the district health board region the person lived in. This data is a snapshot from April 14, so it’s a few days old, but provides a reasonable overview of testing in different parts of the country.

The districts serve populations of different sizes. They range from 633,600 people in Waitamatā to 32,500 on the West Coast. Helpfully, the ministry provided testing rates per 1,000 people in each district. These enable rough comparisons between districts and are represented with a blue bar in the table.

The absence of active cases in Wairarapa is notable given the high rates of testing there.

The symbol map shows confirmed and probable Covid-19 cases arranged by district health board. In keeping with the relatively small number of new cases, there is minimal change in regional counts. Southern (214), Waitematā (206), Auckland (184) and Waikato (183) remain the four district health boards with the largest number of active cases.

There are 16 significant clusters under investigation by the Ministry of Health, the same as yesterday. The largest increases were due to cases getting associated with the Bluff wedding (up four to 96 cases) and one of the aged residential care facilities in Auckland (also up three to 13 cases).

Today I got clarification that “date of report” refers to the date a case was first entered into EpiSurv, ESR’s public health surveillance system. Note that the number of cases reported on a particular date may not match the number of cases reported in the last 24 hours. This is because the number of confirmed and probable cases reported in the last 24 hours includes cases that were entered on an earlier date as “under investigation” or “suspected” whose status has now been changed to confirmed or probable.

The same broad trend that we see in the other charts is evident here. There is a downward trend in the number of cases. Even with a few potential cases getting upgraded to probable or confirmed in recent days, these numbers look promising.

Keep going!