Covid-19: 144 new community cases reported in New Zealand today, one further death

By RNZ.co.nz.

There have been 144 new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today, with one further death also reported.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said 82 people are in hospital, including nine in intensive care.

Today’s death was a Covid-19 patient at North Shore Hospital in their 80s who passed away yesterday evening.

“Our thoughts are with the patient’s whânau and friends at this deeply sad time.”

The Ministry said 88 of today’s new cases are yet to be linked.

Today’s new cases included 127 in Auckland, two in Northland, nine in Waikato, four in the Bay of Plenty and the one in Hawke’s Bay reported earlier today which was picked up after a routine hospital swab.

The nine new cases in Waikato include five in Hamilton, two in Te Kūiti, one in Cambridge and one in Kawhia.

In the Bay of Plenty, the four new cases include one based in the Whakatāne district and three in the Tauranga area.

The Whakatāne district case and one of the Tauranga cases are linked to previously reported cases. The remaining two Tauranga area cases are household contacts, with their links to previously reported cases still being investigated. All are self-isolating at home.

The two new cases in Northland were announced yesterday and are being formally included in today’s figure, but the Ministry said there were also another two cases in Kaitaia and in Whangārei that will be added to tomorrow’s numbers.

The Kaitaia case is a close contact of a known case and links between the Whangārei cases and known cases are still being investigated. Both are self-isolating at home.

There were also four cases reported in managed isolation today, which include one new case in Canterbury.

The ministry said the case – who is a child and has been isolating at home with family – travelled from Auckland to Christchurch on Thursday 25 November on Air NZ Flight NZ8475 arriving in Christchurch at 10.50am. Anyone who is considered a contact of this case will be contacted directly.

This case travelled from London to Doha on 16 November and Doha to Auckland on 18 November. They left managed isolation last week and tested positive on their Day 9 test while in home quarantine.

Yesterday it was reported that there were 145 community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand and a further death of a person in their 80s.

There were also four cases reported in managed isolation today.

There have been 8118 cases in the current community outbreak and 10,891 since the outbreak began.

Omicron advice

Last night Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced that New Zealand will ban travel from nine southern African countries from 11.59pm tonight in an effort to curb the potential spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant. From then only New Zealand citizens will be allowed to travel here and they will also be required to stay in managed isolation for a full 14 day period and undergo testing.

The Health Ministry said today that knowledge about this emerging variant “is in its infancy and we are closely watching and monitoring evidence and countries’ responses”.

It said there was no need to rush to get the booster.

“The science shows fully vaccinated people remain really well protected from infection, and from being seriously ill if they do get Covid-19. There is plenty of existing stock of the Pfizer vaccine in New Zealand now and on order for everyone who needs a booster shot over coming months.

“We will advise on any potential impacts for New Zealand, noting that we remain in a good position to minimise the impact of any new variants with isolation and routine testing of international arrivals.”

There were 20,873 vaccine doses given yesterday, including 6378 first doses and 14,495 second doses. The ministry said 92 percent of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose and 85 percent are fully vaccinated.

It said it had now issued more than 2.26 million My Vaccine Passes.

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