ZB

Live: 8436 Covid cases, 18 virus-related deaths

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 31 May 2022, 1:07pm
(Photo / Getty Images)
(Photo / Getty Images)

Live: 8436 Covid cases, 18 virus-related deaths

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 31 May 2022, 1:07pm

There are 8436 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today. 

The Ministry of Health reported a further 18 virus-related deaths. 

They include three people from Northland, two were from the Auckland region, one was from Waikato, one was from Taranaki, two were from Midcentral, two from Nelson Marlborough, three from Canterbury, two from West Coast and two from the Southern region. 

One person was aged in their 50s, two were in their 60s, one was in their 70s, eight were in their 80s and six were over 90. 

Of these people, 10 were male and eight were female, the Ministry of Health said in today's update. 

There are 389 people in hospital with the virus, including nine in intensive care. 

Yesterday there were 5836 new cases in the community and a further five Covid-related deaths were reported. 

There were 403 people in hospital with the virus, including 10 in intensive care. 

Last week, the ministry reported 98 Covid-related deaths, the week before there were 83 and the week before that 115 were recorded. 

New Zealand recorded just 26 virus deaths in the first national wave, and another 29 during the Delta outbreak. 

Just three months after Omicron arrived, the tally increased steeply to 516 as of April 11. 

Seven weeks later, the tally increased by over 600 to where it stands today – 1154. 

The seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is currently 13. 

These figures come as more than a million Kiwis are yet to receive their booster jab – something experts worry could make the population yet more vulnerable when the next Omicron wave kicks off. 

As of today, just over 72 per cent of the eligible population have been boosted despite more than four million people, or around 95 per cent, having received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 

Regions with the highest numbers of unboosted people include Auckland, Counties-Manukau, Waitemata, Canterbury and Waikato. 

University of Auckland vaccinologist Associate Professor Helen Petousis-Harris suspected many Kiwis didn't realise boosting could make a big difference against Omicron, compared with two doses alone. 

Given this, she said having two courses should have been termed double dosed, rather than "fully vaccinated". 

"So, there may be a perception out there that the goalposts keep shifting, and many people might just be thinking, 'why should I?' about boosting, and that they think they've already done their best." 

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people will be eligible for a second Covid-19 booster shot. 

People at high risk of getting very sick from the virus will soon be eligible for second boosters announced Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. 

"A booster is important for our most vulnerable as we move into the winter peak," Hipkins said. 

He said older people, aged care facility residents, disability care residents aged 16 years and over, and severely immunocompromised people aged 16 years and over could be eligible.