6000 new Covid cases, nine virus-related deaths

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 May 2022, 12:38pm
(Photo / Dean Purcell)
(Photo / Dean Purcell)

6000 new Covid cases, nine virus-related deaths

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 23 May 2022, 12:38pm

There are 6000 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today. 

The Ministry of Health reported a further nine virus-related deaths. 

One of the deaths reported today was aged in their 30s. Three people were in their 80s and five were aged over 90. 

One person was from the Auckland region, two were from Taranaki, two were from Bay of Plenty, two were from Wellington and two were from Canterbury. 

The total number of reported deaths with Covid-19 is 1064 and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 12. 

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers is 7712 - last Monday it was 7702. 

There are 363 people in hospital with the virus, including 14 in intensive care. 

Those being treated in hospital are in: Northland (eight), Waitematā (40), Counties Manukau (35), Auckland (66), Waikato (22), Bay of Plenty (seven), Lakes (two), Tairāwhiti (one), Hawke's Bay (17), Taranaki (eight), Whanganui (six), MidCentral (14), Wairarapa (four), Hutt Valley (nine), Capital and Coast (13), Nelson Marlborough (seven), Canterbury (56), South Canterbury (10), West Coast (two) and the Southern region (36). 

The location of today's community cases are Northland (158), Auckland (2053), Waikato (463), Bay of Plenty (206), Lakes (77), Hawke's Bay (163), MidCentral (196), Whanganui (85), Taranaki (179), Tairāwhiti (27), Wairarapa (45), Capital and Coast (444), Hutt Valley (181), Nelson Marlborough (230), Canterbury (878), South Canterbury (90), Southern (461) and the West Coast (62). The location of two cases is unknown. 

Meanwhile, health authorities have identified 58 new imported cases of Covid-19. 

The total number of active community cases of the virus today is 53,964. 

A total of 95.2 per cent of eligible Kiwis aged 12+ have had two vaccine doses and 70.7 per cent of those eligible for a booster have had it. 

Today's update comes as an expert urges Kiwis to not become complacent - and says Covid cases in Auckland have risen by 75 per cent in the past month. 

Yesterday, new cases in the community dropped below 5000 for the first time in three months - coming in on Sunday at 4990. 

There were a further 10 Covid-related deaths reported and 379 people were in hospital with the virus, including nine in intensive care. 

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers was 7863 – last Sunday it was 7608. 

While this figure is down, University of Otago public health epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker told RNZ that modelling indicates that we're likely to see a big upsurge of cases over winter. 

"It's always good to look at the moving average cause cases bounce up from day to day and the trend has now plateaued and is starting to track upwards and case numbers in Auckland have risen about 75 per cent in the last four weeks," said Baker. 

He said during winter, respiratory illnesses, including influenza, are transmitted easier during winter. Telling the difference between Covid and other respiratory illnesses would also be more difficult, he said. 

"At the moment there are more forces favouring the virus than holding it back," said Baker. 

Meanwhile, Wellington Mayor Andy Foster has tested positive for Covid-19. 

Foster tested positive on Sunday after developing light symptoms earlier that day. 
On Monday morning his symptoms were light to moderate, and he will continue some of his duties via Zoom. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's recent bout of Covid-19 has put at risk her first White House visit and meeting with US President Joe Biden ahead of her trip to the United States. 

Ardern said the issue was her recent infection with Covid-19 rather than any unwillingness to meet on either side. No other country's leader had had Covid-19 so soon before going to the White House and that had resulted in uncertainty. 

Officials have been trying to secure a slightly later date for a meeting - that is yet to be confirmed, but there is optimism it will now take place next week after the rest of her visit to the US. 

Ardern's positive Covid result also meant she had to delay her departure by a couple of days to meet the US requirement of a 10-day wait after testing positive. That meant events, including to promote the film industry in Los Angeles, had to be scrapped and Ardern will instead start in New York.