The Ministry of Health is sad to report the country’s second death linked to COVID-19.
The second death is of a woman in her nineties at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch on Thursday.
The woman had recently returned a positive test to COVID-19.
As we have seen around the world, COVID-19 can be a deadly disease – particularly for elderly people, and also those with underlying health issues.
New Zealand’s first death linked to COVID-19 was on March 29 on the West Coast, in a woman in her 70s with underlying health conditions.
As in that case, the country’s thoughts will be with the Christchurch woman’s family and loved ones at this time.
Understandably, the family will take time to grieve, and we would ask that their privacy be respected.
In this case, we can say that the woman was one of a group of 20 residents transferred from Rosewood Rest Home & Hospital to Burwood Hospital earlier in the week as part of the Canterbury District Health Board’s cluster management process.
These residents were relocated to a ward at Burwood to allow them to isolate together in a ‘group bubble’.
The woman who sadly died had experienced a number of common age-related health conditions prior to her testing positive for COVID-19 this week.
Because of the current Alert Level 4, no family members were able to visit the woman in hospital in recent days and were not able to be present when she passed away. Hospital staff were able to provide her with comfort and support and we thank them for that.
This latest sad news reinforces the importance of our move to Alert Level Four, and the measures we are all taking to limit spread, break the chain of transmission and prevent deaths.
Our health system will continue to do everything it can to support the fight against COVID-19.
Canterbury DHB will provide additional information this afternoon relating to ongoing care and support for other Rosewood residents and their families.