Thousands more cases of Covid-19 are expected to be reported in the community today as the long tail of New Zealand’s omicron outbreak drags on. Photo / Dean Purcell
Today there are 4841 new cases of Covid-19 and nine new deaths in the community.
There are 383 people hospitalized with the virus, including nine in intensive care.
The nine new virus-related deaths that have occurred in the past two days brought the total number of publicly reported Covid deaths to 1149 and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 14.
Of the people whose deaths were reported today, one was from the Northland region, three from the Auckland region, one from Waikato, one from Wairarapa, two from Canterbury and one from South Canterbury.
Four were female and five male.
Two people were in their 60s, four in their 70s and three in their 80s, the health ministry said.
The seven-day moving average of cases in the community was 6,904 — nearly 1,000 down from last Sunday, when there were 7,863.
Most of these new community cases were in Auckland (1582), followed by Canterbury (771), Capital and Coast (405), Waikato (342), Southern (300) and Nelson Marlborough (208).
Others were found in Bay of Plenty (124), Lakes (80), Hawke’s Bay (130), MidCentral (156), Whanganui (37), Taranaki (128), Tairāwhiti (25), Wairarapa (49), Hutt Valley (173 ), South Canterbury (105), Southern (300) and West Coast (67).
The number of active community cases — or those identified in the past seven days and not yet classified as recovered — stood at 48,310, while there were also 43 new imported cases.
Of the 383 people currently hospitalized, around a third were in Auckland (36 in Waitemata, 31 in Manukau counties and 59 in Auckland) – while 28 were reported in Waikato, 34 in Wellington and 64 in Canterbury.
The average age of hospital patients is 60 years.
The ministry reported that nearly 9,000 rapid antigen tests had been reported in the past 24 hours, compared to about 2,133 PCR tests.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Health reported 6,369 new cases of Covid-19 in the community and 13 new deaths, bringing the number of virus-related deaths to 1,140.
The seven-day moving average of cases was 6924 on Saturday, compared to 7972 the week before.
More than 1.13 million people are known to have tested positive for the virus in New Zealand since the pandemic began – although modelers estimate that up to half of Kiwis may have had the virus.
Auckland continues to have the highest number of new cases in the community – 2068 were reported yesterday – as well as hospital admissions.
Also this week, omicron subvariants with increased transmissibility, but not believed to cause more serious diseases, were discovered in the community.
While the most recent sequenced cases in New Zealand continued to be of the Omicron BA.2 subvariant, the first community case of the Omicron BA.2.12.1 subvariant was discovered in Hawke’s Bay this week, health officials said.
The case, which had no clear link to the border, came from a test result returned earlier this month.
Director of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield this week joined more than 528 million other people around the world to test positive for Covid-19 since the beginning of 2020.
The health chief became unwell while in Switzerland for the World Health Assembly.
He has mild symptoms and is self-isolating in Geneva.