Another rise in cases today with 24 new cases of Covid-19 in the community, 3 of those yet to be linked to the current outbreak.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged that these numbers were likely to make people anxious with Cabinet’s decision on whether Auckland could be moved out of level 4 being made tomorrow, but also pointed out that the numbers did not always tell the whole story.
She said that Auckland’s work has paid off but that we are still seeing the long tail of Delta.
Director of public health Caroline McElnay said the Ministry of Health would be preparing advice on the possible alert level move were cautiously optimistic that the bulk of the outbreak was under control.
Aucklanders have come out in force to get vaccinated in a bid to get more freedoms, with 78% now having received their first dose. Ardern’s message to those yet to do so, is to make sure they book or move their booking forward. For those with questions or concerns, she encourages them to seek answers from trusted sources.
Of today’s cases, one is a man who has been remanded into custody at Mt Eden prison. The case is yet to be linked to the current outbreak although a tentative link is believed to be there. Police officers and prison staff who had contact with him are now isolating. Due to being tested on arrival, the man had not been integrated with fellow prisoners, although he did have a cell mate who is also isolating.
The government also announced a $36million investment over three years and an infectious diseases research platform. The new fund will focus on various areas such as vaccine research, therapeutics and diagnostics and research will start being funded from early to mid 2022.
Today’s Full Update:
- There are 24 new community cases, all in Auckland. This brings the total outbreak to 1,050.
- Of today’s cases 3 are yet to be linked to the outbreak. The 1 unlinked case from yesterday has now been linked
- 671 are recovered in Auckland as well as all 17 in Wellington
- 13 are in hospital with 4 in ICU or HDU
- A man who was remanded into custody on Friday night in Mt Eden prison had tested positive; he had been in the Firth of Thames beforehand. Four police staff are isolating following contact with him and several prison staff. He had also been travelling with another person who was isolating.
- Ardern acknowledged the testing process by corrections that had uncovered this case. She said they treated new inmates much like those at the border, ensuring they had negative tests before they were integrated into the prison. She also said the case is not formally linked yet but Ardern says there is a tentative link.
- 140 contacts of the truck driver outside of the household have been identified, 81 have already tested negative.
- Dr McElnay reminded New Zealanders to check website for locations of interest. There are currently 134 locations of interest.
- Ardern says the cases have predominately been household contacts
- She says Aucklander have turned out in force to get vaccinated in a bind to increase their freedoms
- 78% of eligible Aucklanders have now had their first dose. But Ardern says every unvaccinated person runs the risks of another chain of transmission and rates need to keep rising
- She says to those that are unvaccinated there is the one thing they need to do today which is get vaccinated.
- For those that have questions or concerns Ardern encourages them to seek answers from trusted sources
- 53,386 vaccines were administered yesterday. 28,946 were first doses, 24,440 were second doses.
- Another 2 vaccination buses will be hitting the road this week
- 13,833 tests have been processed in the last 24 hours, of those 5,028 were in Auckland
- Ardern says Aucklander's work has paid off, but there is still work to do. She also says they are factoring in how Aucklanders are coping with the restrictions when they make their alert level decision.
- Delta’s tail is long, but McElnay says they are cautiously optimistic the outbreak is under control.
- The government also announced a $36million investment over three years and an infectious diseases research platform.
- Ayesha Verrall spoke to the new fund saying it would focus on various areas such as vaccine research, therapeutics and diagnostics. She wanted researchers to work together and said it was crucial that they worked with Maori and Pacific communities.
- MBIE will select a host organisation through a contestable process. That organisation will coordinate the work across multiple agencies. The best researchers from each area, regardless of institution, would be included.
- Funding will be reviewed annually.
- Research would be funded starting early-mid 2022.