New Zealand confirms first COVID-19 death in over 6 months


A Covid-19 sign is seen at Western Springs Park on Sept. 3 in Auckland, New Zealand. On Saturday, the country reported its first death attributed to COVID-19 in over six months. (Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) — New Zealand has recorded its first death attributed to COVID-19 in over six months, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Saturday.

The woman, in her 90s, had “a number” of underlying health issues, according to a media release issued Saturday. She was first admitted to the hospital on Aug. 28 but was unable to receive ventilator or ICU care because of her conditions. She and her doctors were aware of her COVID diagnosis before she entered the hospital.

“Every death is a reminder of the damage COVID-19 can cause when it gets into our community,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a statement included with the media release.

“Our older New Zealanders and those with underlying health issues are by far the most at risk from the virus and one of the reasons lockdowns are such an important tool to stop its spread.”

The Ministry of Health also confirmed 20 new daily cases of COVID-19 in the country, all reported in Auckland.

New Zealand, however, has seen a steady drop in the number of daily reported cases over the last week, falling from its peak of over 80 daily infections.

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The country is currently under lockdown amid efforts to stem outbreaks of the delta variant, the Associated Press reported.

Still, a member of the deceased woman’s extended family continued to urge residents to follow all local health guidance for reducing the spread of COVID-19.

“This is real,” the man said, per the news release.

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