678 in hospital, 23 further deaths

By Kelvin McDonald

The Ministry of Health is reporting 678 hospitalisations and 23 deaths today, as case numbers continue to decline.

There are 11,560 new community cases and 96,243 active Covid-19 cases across Aotearoa today.

"At this point in the outbreak, we are continuing to report people dying with Covid-19 on a daily basis despite the number of community cases declining in many parts of the country. Sadly, this is not unexpected, and our thoughts are with the families of these people," the ministry said in its Saturday update.

"As has occurred with Omicron overseas, while Covid-19 cases are usually seen in higher numbers among younger people early in the outbreak, over time the more severe and fatal consequences of the virus fall disproportionately on our older and more vulnerable populations."

The ministry says the deaths being reported today include people who have died over the past five days.

"Delays to reporting can be associated with people dying with Covid-19, rather than from Covid-19, and Covid being discovered only after they have died."

"Among the deaths we are reporting today are people with pre-existing conditions and older people living in aged care facilities."

Twelve of the people who died were male and 11 were female. 

One person was in their 30s, two in their 50s, one in their 60s, one in their 70s, 13 in their 80s, and five were over-90. 

They were from Northland, Auckland, Lakes, MidCentral, Wellington, Nelson Marlborough, Canterbury, and Southern DHB regions.

These deaths take the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 378 and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 18.

The ministry says the number of community cases is continuing to decline.

"The seven-day rolling average of case numbers continues to decline, Today's seven-day rolling average is 13,751, while the seven-day rolling average of cases as at last Saturday was 16,943."