Grim milestone: Covid-related deaths surge past 1000; 9570 new cases

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Wed, 18 May 2022, 1:11pm
On Tuesday, 9843 new community cases were recorded. Photo / Alex Burton
On Tuesday, 9843 new community cases were recorded. Photo / Alex Burton

Grim milestone: Covid-related deaths surge past 1000; 9570 new cases

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Wed, 18 May 2022, 1:11pm

New Zealand's total deaths linked to Covid has now surpassed 1000 since the pandemic began.

There are 9570 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand and a further 32 deaths related to the virus have been reported.

The deaths reported today included people who have died over the previous six weeks, since April 5.

There are 425 people in hospital, including nine in intensive care.

The total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 is 1017 and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 17.

Of the people whose deaths were reported today, two were from Northland, nine from the Auckland region, two from Bay of Plenty, two from Taranaki, one from Tairawhiti, four from MidCentral, two from Hawke's Bay, three from the Wellington region, one from Nelson-Marlborough, four from Canterbury and two from the Southern region.

One person was in their 20s; four people were in their 40s; two in their 50s; four in their sixties; nine in their 70s; nine in their 80s and three were aged over 90.

Of these people, 10 were women and 22 were men.

"This is a very sad time for whānau and friends and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this time," the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

The ministry today released an update on the reporting of Covid-related deaths.

This included breakdown of people who have died with Covid-19 as an underlying cause of death and those who have died with Covid-19 as a contributing cause of death.

This update has been published on the ministry's website.

There are 56,146 active community cases in New Zealand. The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers is 8024, while last Wednesday it was 7533.

The locations of today's community cases are: Northland (273), Auckland (3297), Waikato (742), Bay of Plenty (307), Lakes (173), Hawke's Bay (304), MidCentral (318), Whanganui (124), Taranaki (283), Tairāwhiti (82), Wairarapa (91), Capital and Coast (642), Hutt Valley (241), Nelson Marlborough (314), Canterbury (1368), South Canterbury (155), Southern (737) and the West Coast (112).

Meanwhile, 91 cases were detected at the border.

The locations of seven community cases is unknown.

There are 425 people with Covid-19 in hospital. They are in Northland (13), Waitematā (50), Counties Manukau (38), Auckland (113), Waikato (25), Bay of Plenty (11), Lakes (five), Tairāwhiti (two), Hawke's Bay (16), Taranaki (10), Whanganui (one), MidCentral (20), Hutt Valley (six), Capital and Coast (20), Nelson Marlborough (eight), Canterbury (49), South Canterbury (eight), West Coast (two) and the Southern region (28).

The average age of cases hospitalised in the Northern region is 60.

The vaccination statuses of people with Covid-19 in Northern region (Auckland and Northland) hospitals, excluding emergency departments, are:

- Unvaccinated or not eligible: 28 cases / 11 per cent
-  Partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose: Eight cases / 3 per cent
-  Double vaccinated at least seven days before being reported as a case: 63 cases / 26 per cent
- Received booster at least seven days before being reported as a case: 148 cases / 60 per cent

Getting vaccinated and practicing good public health behaviours are two of the most effective ways to avoid getting Covid-19 this winter or minimise the impacts of the virus, the ministry said.

"Stay home and avoid others if you're unwell, isolating or awaiting results of a Covid-19 test.

"Masks are still required in many indoor settings. Wearing a mask halves the risk of spread of Covid-19 and so it is also encouraged in settings where social distancing isn't practical. You must also wear a face mask on flights and public transport, and in taxi and ride-share services — unless you are exempt."

To date, 95.2 per cent of eligible New Zealanders aged 12 and older have had two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, and 70.7 per cent of those eligible have been boosted.

Appeal of Grounded Kiwis decision not likely says Hipkins

Earlier today, National's Covid-19 response spokesman Chris Bishop asked Covid 19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins about the Grounded Kiwis decision.

"There's no agreement yet. The latest advice I've got is those discussions are still ongoing."

He said it was "unlikely" the Crown would appeal the decision in which the High Court found largely in favour of Grounded Kiwis.

Justice Jillian Mallon in April found that although MIQ was a critical component of the Government's elimination strategy, the combination of the virtual lobby and narrow emergency criteria meant New Zealanders' rights to re-enter the country was infringed.

Hipkins also said a review of the Covid-19 response was likely but the exact nature of that review was to be determined.

"For public confidence though, it'll need to have a good degree of independence."
He said Royal Commissions could go on for a very long time and consume vast resources.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is on day five of home isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 over the weekend.

Her partner Clarke Gayford and daughter Neve also tested positive for the virus last week.

The Prime Minister will have to isolate until the morning of Saturday, May 21.