Covid-19: 23 new community cases reported in NZ, number of Omicron cases reaches 56

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

There have been 23 new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today, with the total number of Omicron cases reported in the community now at 56.

Microscopic close-up of the covid-19 disease. Blue Coronavirus illness spreading in body cell. 2019-nCoV analysis on microscope level 3D rendering
File image. Photo: 123RF

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said there were also 36 new cases at the border

There are six people in hospital with the coronavirus in New Zealand.

Today’s new community cases are in Northland (one), Auckland (12), Waikato (three), Rotorua (five), Capital and Coast (one), Nelson Marlborough (one).

The ministry said there had now been 56 community cases confirmed as Omicron through whole genome sequencing, or were suspected Omicron.

That included 44 cases linked to a family event and other associated events in Auckland on the weekend of 15 and 16 January. The 15 new cases being reported today are in Auckland, Taranaki, and Nelson Marlborough.

The number of cases linked to the three border workers reported earlier this month has doubled from six to 12.

There are now eight cases associated with the MIQ border worker first reported on 16 January, and three associated with the Auckland airport worker first reported on 21 January.

A Covid-19 case in Taranaki has also been linked to the January Omicron cluster and will be included in the case count tomorrow.

The ministry said the case was on the same flight as the air steward that was part of this cluster and they had been isolating since being identified as a close contact.

All close contacts identified so far were in isolation and being tested for Covid-19.

One of the three new cases in the Nelson Tasman region is part of a household that has also been linked to the January Omicron cluster. The other two were detected this morning and were under investigation. They were being treated as suspected Omicron.

The number of cases and contacts was expected to grow given the highly transmissible nature of Omicron, the ministry said.

Today’s new cases at the border came from UAE, USA, Australia, India, UK, Colombia, Qatar, Iran, Scotland, Pakistan, Fiji, Austria, Sri Lanka, Canada and Brazil.

Yesterday there were 25 new cases of Covid-19 in the community including 10 confirmed Omicron cases.

There have now been 11,564 cases in the current community outbreak and a total of 15,369 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand since the pandemic began.

The ministry said Auckland has become the second DHB to fully vaccinate 90 percent of Māori within their rohe, while South Canterbury has become the ninth DHB area to vaccinate 90 percent of Māori with a first dose.

There were 15,102 paediatric doses given yesterday, bringing the total to 110,123, along with 56,899 booster doses.

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