Covid-19 update; 20 new cases, more vaccines coming from Denmark

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 12 Sep 2021, 12:59PM

Covid-19 update; 20 new cases, more vaccines coming from Denmark

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 12 Sep 2021, 12:59PM

With one day to go until Cabinet reviews alert levels for the whole country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield provided an update of Covid-19 in the community.

Today's Update

  • There are 20 new community cases in the Auckland region. That brings the total number of cases in the outbreak to 922, including 352 that have recovered. 
  • There are also three cases to report in MIQ today. 
  • Bloomfield said no staff or patients have returned a positive case after being in potential contact with the cases in Middlemore Hospital. 
  • There are 379 cases in the Mangere church subcluster, another group with 164 cases, and 76 in the Birkdale social network. There are 16 subclusters or groups of interest, seven of which are considered to be contained. 
  • In these three subclusters there is concern about possible spread beyond households. 
  • There are 150 very close contacts still in their 14 day isolation period. 
  • Of yesterday's 23 cases, 11 are contacts of other cases, seven are household members of a case, and 10 were potentially infectious in the community. Three of them are unlinked. 
  • The case from Middlemore who tested positive last weekend has now been linked to the wider outbreak, Bloomfield said. 
  • New locations of interest continue to be identified, and Bloomfield asked people to keep checking these on the Ministry's website. 
  • There are 18 people in hospital, including four in ICU. 
  • One person presented to Middlemore Hospital in the last 24 hours and is in ICU.  
  • Bloomfield said it was important to seek care immediately. "Our hospitals are safe. There are very strict protocols in place. Please do not delay of hesitate in seeking care." 
  • There were 10,958 tests processed, including just under 5000 in Auckland. 
  • He said there had been good testing in areas of interest around Auckland. 
  • 350 very close contacts, not 150 
  • More than 13,000 essential workers have been tested so far, with no positive tests to date, Bloomfield said. 
  • That included 5500 DHB workers, and 3450 further healthcare workers. 
  • Of just over 38,000 contacts, 92 per cent have returned a test result. 
  • Bloomfield said a very cautious approach has been taken for granting travel exemptions outside Auckland for personal reasons. He wanted to pass on his sympathy to those who had applied but been turned down. This was due to the public health risks, he added. 
  • Ardern said it was hard when numbers jumped around, but it wasn't a sign that level 4 wasn't working, more that the tail of Delta can be long. 
  • There are 34 unlinked cases, though Ardern said it was known where the vast majority of cases were coming from. 
  • Unlinked cases will "very often" be linked back to the outbreak, often through genomic sequencing that takes a bit longer. 
  • Ardern announced that a deal had also been struck with Denmark for 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 
  • One shipment will arrive in Auckland in the middle of the week, and a second shipment will arrive later. 
  • This will allow the supply in the country to be able to meet the surge in demand of the last few weeks until the larger shipments arrive in October. 
  • Denmark has high coverage of the population that is fully vaccinated, and has lifted all Covid-19 restrictions. 
  • Half a million Aucklanders are now fully vaccinated. 
  • As for deliveries coming from Denmark, Ardern said there was nothing holding NZ back. "My message to everyone there's no reason not to come and receive your vaccination today.” 
  • Ardern said she didn't want to speculate on advice regarding a lowering of alert levels, "we're making it based on the best information possible". 
  • They were still seeing household contacts coming through and they did still expect a proportion of Day 12 tests to come back positive. 
  • As for the three subclusters still delivering cases and if there's any danger in the community, Ardern said all of the analysis is feeding into where they were picking up targeted testing in the community and pick up cases early that could be linked to those clusters. "We have high testing rates in those suburbs ...where we have cases we have not yet found." 
  • Even if they were having a hard time connecting a case, genome sequencing was helping form the links and narrow down the mystery links. 
  • Bloomfield said there had been "excellent engagement" from those involved in the subclusters and while there was a number of exposure events in the community - 40 - only four were of concern. 
  • Bloomfield there is no wide spread community transmission in Auckland. That's why there had been targeted testing of people including those who were asymptomatic.