466 in hospital, six further deaths

By Kelvin McDonald

Six people with Covid-19 have died over the previous three days, the Ministry of Health said in their Sunday update. 

Three of those who died were in their 70s and three were in their 80s. Four were women and two men.

One of the people who died was in the Northland DHB region, one in Taranaki, two in Waikato and two in the Canterbury region.

This takes the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 750 and the seven-day rolling average is 11.

Today, the ministry is reporting 5,656 new community cases.

The seven-day rolling average of case numbers is now 7,414, down from last Sunday's 8,435.

466 people are currently in hospital with Covid-19, including 16 people in intensive care. The average age of those in Northern Region hospitals is 60.

Outside of Auckland (which has 236 hospitalisations across its three DHBs), most are in hospital in Canterbury (60), Waikato (37), Northland (29) and Southern (25) DHB regions.

Omicron BA.4 variant

The first known detection of this variant in New Zealand was identified last week when a person who travelled to Aotearoa from South Africa on 22 April returned a positive RAT the next day and subsequently a positive PCR test.

The ministry said there is no evidence to date that BA.4 is more transmissible or causes more severe disease than other Omicron lineages.

Two other sub-variants of Omicron – BA.2.12.1 and BA 2.12.2 - have also been detected in two returnees for the first time in New Zealand from travellers arriving on 11 and 15 April. The ministry said neither sub-variant is currently regarded as being of concern.