NZ cases jump from 28 to 39

Ben McKay

New Zealand has recorded its biggest single-day increase of COVID-19 cases, with 11 new positive tests taking the country's total tally to 39.

Health officials are still yet to find a case of community transmission.

New Zealand is yet to endure life-threatening cases of the virus or deaths.

Only one person currently requires professional care for the virus; an elderly man who is being treated in Queenstown's Lakes District Hospital.

Still, a fresh case in Hawke's Bay means that all regions, bar South Island's West Coast, have now produced positive tests, arising from overseas travel.

The number of cases has jumped in line with a huge surge of testing.

Until Monday, just 524 tests had been conducted during the entire outbreak.

This week, health officials have lifted testing rates dramatically this week to now be testing around 1000 Kiwis each day.

The government expects the overall number to continue to grow as tens of thousands of New Zealanders return home.

Like Australia, New Zealand closed its borders to non-established residents on Thursday, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to consider further measures as required.

Ms Ardern made available government loans of $NZ900 million for battling airline Air New Zealand on Friday, which is slashing staff and routes as it confronts crashing demand for air travel.

Auckland Council has also closed libraries, pools and recreation centres for the next fortnight.