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Hawke's Bay pharmacists are calling on people not to stockpile medicines after pharmacy shelves were virtually stripped bare in the hours following the announcement by the Prime Minister that the country will go into lockdown from midnight tonight.

Hawke's Bay DHB Planning and Commissioning Manager, Di Vicary, said one pharmacy reported it had dispensed 300 percent more prescriptions on Monday than usual, while other teams worked close to midnight to meet demand.

Ms Vicary urged calm, saying pharmacies were an essential business that would remain open throughout the national lockdown.

She said stockpiling medicines makes it more difficult for pharmacists, doctors and PHARMAC to avoid shortages for everyone.

Locally, Unichem Waipukurau had more than 400 prescriptions dropped off at lunchtime yesterday.


The Ministry of Health yesterday confirmed Hawke's Bay had two newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, taking the total in the region to three.

Hawke's Bay DHB Medical Officer of Health, Dr Nick Jones said the confirmed cases were both in their 70s.
Neither has required hospital treatment, and are recovering well in isolation at home.

The pair had both recently returned from overseas and had followed all of the proper protocol.

Dr Jones said there was no wider risk to the community from these confirmed cases, and he congratulated the pair for their vigilance in following all of the precautionary advice and keeping themselves isolated.


All transfer stations and recycling drop-off centres in Central Hawke's Bay closed yesterday.

The Central Hawke's Bay District Council said they are places that the public congregate, and is waiting on advice by the New Zealand Government on when they can reopen.

Transfer Stations will remain open to essential businesses and commercial users.

Kerbside rubbish and recycling collection will continue as normal.