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7870 new community cases, 13 deaths modelling show second Omicron wave to hit

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Jun 2022, 1:05pm
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

7870 new community cases, 13 deaths modelling show second Omicron wave to hit

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 2 Jun 2022, 1:05pm

There are 7870 new community cases of Covid-19.

A further 13 deaths of people with Covid-19 have also been reported.

Eleven of these deaths were in the past 48 hours and two were in January this year.

Four of the people whose deaths were reported today were in their 60s; one person was in their 70s; five people were in their 80s and three were aged over 90.

Four people were from the Auckland region, four were from Canterbury, two from Southern, and one each from Taranaki, Hawke's Bay, and Wellington.

The Ministry of Health said in a statement it would not be making any further comment out of respect.

"This is a very sad time for whānau and friends and our thoughts and condolences are with them."

The seven-day rolling average of Covid cases is beginning to track down but new modelling suggests a second Omicron wave could hit this year.

The Ministry of Health is expected to release the latest case numbers at 1pm today.

Yesterday there were 8182 new cases in the community and a further 13 Covid-related deaths were reported.

There were 373 people in hospital with the virus, including eight in intensive care.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers was 6893, down from last Wednesday's 7308.

Today, the person who will take over from outgoing Ministry of Health boss Ashley Bloomfield was announced.

Dr Diana Sarfati, chief executive of Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency, has been appointed as acting director general of health and chief executive, Ministry of Health.

Sarfati will begin in the new role on July 30 as Bloomfield, who recently tested positive for Covid-19 while attending the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, leaves the role.

"I am very pleased to appoint Dr Sarfati to this acting role," said deputy public service commissioner Helene Quilter.

"She has been an impressive leader at the Cancer Control Agency."

Sarfati is a public health physician, cancer epidemiologist and health services researcher with a world-leading reputation in cancer control strategy and research.

"Dr Sarfati has considerable experience and a sound understanding of New Zealand's health system and has strong relationships across the sector," said Quilter.

Meanwhile, new modelling suggests that a second Omicron wave will hit the country in the second half of this year.

It will be driven in part by people getting reinfected because their immunity has waned.

The wave is estimated to peak at fewer daily cases than the first wave, as well as fewer hospitalisations - unless infections were prevalent among higher-risk people such as the elderly.

In this scenario, up to 46 per cent of cases had already had Omicron earlier in the year, according to the paper published today by Covid-19 Modelling Aotearoa.

The paper also found that higher transmission - either because of further relaxing of public health measures, or more risky behaviour - didn't necessarily lead to higher peaks.

"However, they generally resulted in more cumulative cases and sustained demand on healthcare systems - more than 250 hospital beds occupied throughout the winter period," said the paper, which is yet to be formally reviewed.