Covid-19: 6,407 new cases, two travellers confirmed to have BA.5 Omicron variant

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

The Ministry of Health has reported 6,407 new cases and two Covid-19 related deaths today.

Two more people, having travelled overseas, have also been confirmed as having the BA.5 Omicron variant. This comes as the first case was confirmed in yesterday's numbers, with all three cases having travelled from South Africa. No changes to public health settings are required at this stage, the ministry says.

Both of today's deaths were men in their 80s. One was from Wairarapa and the other from Whanganui. The death total is now at 862, with the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths at 15.

Of today's cases, Southern (654) and Canterbury (1,033) have dropped from their usual numbers. Tai Rāwhiti has recorded 36 new cases, and Auckland is reporting 2,066. Whanganui follows Tai Rāwhiti with 54, with West Coast (62) and Wairarapa (63) as the next regions with the lowest case numbers.

Some 57 cases were detected at the border. The active case total is 52,339 and the total number of recorded cases since the pandemic's beginning is now 992,732. The country will pass the one million case mark this week.

Hospitalisations are at 368 today. Of these, Counties Manukau (33) is recording the lowest of the three Auckland DHBs (42 in Waitematā, 63 in Auckland). Elsewhere, there are 10 in Northland, 40 in Waikato, 18 in Bay of Plenty, four in Lakes, one in Tai Rāwhiti, seven in Taranaki, 14 in Hawke's Bay, one in Whanganui, 19 in Mid Central, three in Wairarapa, four in Hutt Valley, 12 in Capital and Coast, six in Nelson-Marlborough, 59 in Canterbury, three each in South Canterbury and West Coast, and 26 in Southern district health boards.