Live: 6407 new Covid cases, two deaths reported today

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 9 May 2022, 12:35pm
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Live: 6407 new Covid cases, two deaths reported today

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 9 May 2022, 12:35pm

There are 6407 new community cases of Covid today, including two more travellers infected with the new BA.5 variant of the virus.

The Ministry of Health reported a further two Covid-related deaths in today's update.

Of today's reported deaths, one was from Wairarapa and the other was from Whanganui.

They were both male and aged in their 80s.

The latest deaths take the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 862 since the pandemic began.

There are 368 people in hospital with the virus, including 18 in intensive care.

The average age of those in hospital is 59.

Two more people who travelled from overseas to New Zealand have been confirmed as having the BA.5 variant of Omicron, the Ministry of Health said.

There are now three people with the sub-variant and all of them have travelled from South Africa.

The ministry said public health measures currently in place to manage Omicron variants were appropriate in managing BA.5.

Today's community cases are in Northland (146), Auckland (2,066), Waikato (441), Bay of Plenty (195), Lakes (106), Hawke's Bay (186), MidCentral (225), Whanganui (54), Taranaki (143), Tairāwhiti (36), Wairarapa (63), Capital and Coast (496), Hutt Valley (177), Nelson Marlborough (224), Canterbury (1,033), South Canterbury (96), Southern (654), West Coast (62), unknown (4).

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers has increased again.

Today it is 7479 whereas last Monday it was 7553.

Meanwhile 57 Covid cases were detected at the border.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been 992,732 cases in this country - nearly 1 million, or one fifth, of the population.

There are currently 52,339 active cases in the community.

Yesterday the Ministry of Health reported that a border case had tested positive for the Omicron sub-variant BA.5.

The person travelled from South Africa and arrived in New Zealand on April 26, they subsequently returned a positive RAT from their day 5/6 test on May 1.

This comes after the detection of BA.4 on the May 1 in someone who had also travelled from South Africa.

The ministry said public health measures already in place to manage Omicron were appropriate for managing both BA.4 and BA.5 variants.

They said it can take months to assess the severity of new variants and they would continue to monitor emerging variants.

"Both BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants are being monitored by the World Health Organisation [WHO]. The WHO says that vaccination remains effective against these new subvariants."

University of Otago epidemiologist Michael Baker said the variants arrival to New Zealand wouldn't cause infection rates to go up immediately.

"It's not a game-changer - not in the way that Delta and Omicron was," he told the Herald.

"The starting point is that all of these are sub-variants of Omicron. It's not a new virus, and the net effect on the population will be similar."

But Baker's assessment comes with a major caveat: Omicron and its sub-variants should not ever be taken lightly.

In South Africa, where the infected travellers came from, the sub-variants have been blamed for a new surge in cases.

Yesterday there were 5647 new cases in the community and three people died with the virus.

While daily case numbers continue to drop, the seven-day rolling average on Sunday was 7510 - which is up by close to 100 compared to last Sunday's 7414.

There were 350 people in hospital with Covid-19 yesterday and 73 cases were detected at the border.

New Zealand is close to reaching one million cases since the beginning of the pandemic, yesterday the tally was at 986,261.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been forced to work from home due to partner Clarke Gayford's infection.

Ardern appeared via Zoom on TVNZ's Breakfast this morning, as she isolates at home.

"I just did a radio interview where Neve, through the duration of it, chased me around the room with a banana - so anything could happen.

Ardern told AM she had no Covid symptoms and was able to adequately work from home.

"We've managed to re-shape a lot of the work we do in Parliament so that we can do it remotely."

During the interview, Ardern's daughter Neve could be heard and seen in the background – although Ardern's background was blurred.

Ardern apologised for the disturbance but couldn't help letting out a little laugh.

"I thought I had it totally covered, I've got some TV parenting, I had snacks ... it doesn't matter what you do."