A man in his 70s has died in Southland in what’s believed to be the first coronavirus home death in New Zealand. Emergency services were called to a property in the Invercargill suburb of Kingswell about 8.45pm on Tuesday. A police spokesperson said the circumstances were not suspicious, but there was no further information available.
Stuff understands the man had earlier been diagnosed with Covid-19 and was in isolation.
Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told media on Wednesday authorities had been unable to confirm the cause of death at the moment. If they were confident it was from Covid-19, then it would be the first death in the community, he said.
Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming directed media queries to the Ministry of Health, as it’s the lead agency for Covid-19 response.
“Our thoughts are with the patient’s family at this sad time and we ask that their privacy is respected,” Fleming said.
The man’s family have declined to comment.
His death brings the number of fatalities linked to the virus to 10.
All the previous victims had either died in hospital or specialist care.