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The death toll from Covid-19 in New Zealand has risen to nine, and one of the most harrowing aspects is the fact these people died without their loved ones with them.
The contagious nature of the virus means there's currently a blanket ban on families visiting Covid patients in hospital, although that is being reviewed.
Auckland University Professor Ron Paterson, a former health and disability commissioner, told Heather du Plessis-Allan that it is heartbreaking to let people die alone, for both the individuals that are dying and their families.
He says that New Zealand is one of the few countries that has a legal right for support in our code of patients rights.
Paterson says that the blanket ban made sense at first. "I think now things have evolved."
He wants authorities to distinguish between Covid-19 patients and other critically ill patients.
"I think it is important we see compassion in the way in which authorities respond to requests from close family members to be present."