Explained: Why are more people ‘recovering’ from Covid-19 than the total confirmed New Zealand cases | 1 NEWS | Instant News


The difference in the number of New Zealand Covid-19 cases causes confusion, and depends on how the country classifies it.

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Three new cases were added today, but no deaths were reported.

Source: 1 NEWS


More people in New Zealand have officially recovered from Covid-19 than are confirmed to have the disease.

In the past week, Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has emphasized the total number of confirmed cases every day, rather than just the total number of confirmed and probable cases.

This is a step in line with other countries’ reporting protocols, including how the data is reported to the World Health Organization.

But New Zealand still includes possible cases in the number of patients recovering and the number of deaths.

“In New Zealand, data is collected and reported in the most relevant way for New Zealanders,” a Ministry of Health spokeswoman told 1 NEWS.

“Data supplied to WHO is in line with international data requirements established by WHO to help ensure global consistency. This means that only confirmed cases are reported to WHO.”

Possible New Zealand cases include people who fit the case definition, including having contact with confirmed cases or traveling abroad and having relevant symptoms.

The medical staff tested a supermarket employee who volunteered at a Covid-19 testing station pop-up community in a parking lot in Christchurch.
Source: Associated Press


The total number of confirmed cases of New Zealand sits at 1132, while the total number of people who have recovered is now at 1252.

This can give the illusion that more people have recovered than have been diagnosed with the virus.

But data released to 1 NEWS by the Ministry of Health shows that of those who have recovered yesterday, 957 are confirmed cases and 284 are likely.

When it came to active cases yesterday, 156 were confirmed and 60 were likely.

Of the 19 people who have died of Covid-19 to date, three are possible cases while the rest are confirmed.

All three patients were parents from a vacation home who were not tested because of the traumatic nature of this test and their health and age.

Because they have never been tested, they have never been officially added to the number of “confirmed” cases and remain as “probable”.

Data is not available which of the six people currently in the hospital is confirmed or possible cases.

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54 other staff members have temporarily resigned.
Source: 1 NEWS


Meanwhile the World Health Organization has its own case categorization: suspect, probable and confirmed.

It is likely that their cases are only those who have inconclusive test results or who cannot be tested for any reason – like other residents of the house.

Over time, New Zealand’s definition of “possibility” continues to grow with the increasing definition of the Covid-19 case.

On Thursday, the possibility of historic cases were removed from the total number because further investigation found they had never had the virus.

But despite the obvious differences in numbers, it is likely to have little impact.

While the public might be confused, hard data remains consistent.

“For New Zealand’s calculations of case fatality rates, deaths among confirmed cases are likely to be included,” the Ministry of Health said.

That means, while WHO may only publicly report our confirmed cases, the overall death toll and any calculations about that will still be done accurately.

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