Covid-19 update: 28 new community cases today, returnee who didn’t complete isolation left with child

By RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission.

There are 28 new cases of Covid-19 in the community, and no new Omicron cases in Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ).

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Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said of the new cases, 21 are in Auckland, five in Bay of Plenty, and two in Taranaki.

Four in Bay of Plenty are in the Tauranga area and one in Murapara, who is a household contact of a previously reported case.

One of the cases in Taranaki is linked to the Eltham cluster, while the other is linked to a case in New Plymouth.

There are 57 cases in hospital, 10 in North Shore, 25 in Auckland, 19 in Middlemore, one in Northland, and two in Waikato. Seven cases are in ICU or HDU (one in North Shore; two in Auckland; three in Middlemore, one in Northland).

The ministry has also revealed that a recent returnee who left Middlemore Hospital without discharge, after being transferred from MIQ, also took their child with them.

The child was transferred in the ambulance with the parent because it meant they could not be left unattended in managed isolation due to their age.

Police are currently investigating the incident which happened early on Monday morning.

The parent tested negative twice; first on day zero in managed isolation and second in a rapid antigen test when arriving at hospital on Sunday night.

“We want to reiterate the importance of the pair returning to managed isolation to complete their isolation period and to have further testing on Day 3 and Day 6.”

There were also five cases detected at the border. They arrived between 15 and 19 December, with one from Tanzania, two from the United Kingdom, and the rest have yet to confirm their travel history. Four are in Auckland, one is in Christchurch.

Also, the latest round of MIQ room releases has been postponed for 24 hours due to the Omicron situation.

Three previously reported cases in Canterbury were reclassified as ‘under investigation’ and have now subsequently been reclassified again as confirmed cases.

Nelson-Marlborough DHB is expected to become the tenth DHB to hit the 90 percent fully vaccinated milestone later today based on uptake among its eligible population, with just 246 doses to go as of 11.59pm yesterday.

For Māori vaccinations, Wairarapa DHB has just four doses remaining to reach 90 percent partially vaccinated for its population.

Meanwhile, the Waitangi Tribunal this morning released a scathing report into the government’s Covid-19 response, finding several Treaty breaches.

It said the government’s decision to go against its own expert advice put Māori at a disproportionate risk in the Delta outbreak.

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