More Omicron subvariants found; 11 deaths

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

The Ministry of Health has reported 8,150 new cases and 11 Covid-19 related deaths today.

The first Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 community case was also detected in Hawke's Bay, after a test result returned on May 10. This subvariant is widespread in the United States and 29 imported cases of the subvariant have been detected since April. The ministry says it is not unexpected to see it in the community. 

Data suggests the subvariant is marginally more transmissible than the subvariants currently in the country. 

Elsewhere, in the Auckland suburb of Rosedale and Gisborne, the Omicron BA.4 and/or BA.5 subvariants have also been detected but the ministry says detecting these was not unexpected. According to the World Health Organization, clinical data suggests an increased transmissibility rate. 

Case update

The deaths today take the Covid-19 related death total to 1,086 and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 10.

The deaths being reported today are for people who have died in the past 10 days, apart from one death on May 6 and one death on 11 April.

Of the deaths, six were female and five were male. Two were from the Auckland region, one was from Waikato, two were from Taranaki, one was from Hawke’s Bay, one was from MidCentral, three were from Canterbury, and one was from Southern. One person was aged under 10, one was in their 30s, one was in their 60s, one was in their 70s, three were in their 80s, and four were aged over 90.

There are 51,133 active cases in the community and 1,117,307 confirmed cases since the pandemic began. Some 78 imported cases were also detected.

Of today's cases, Auckland has 2,617 new cases. Elsewhere, Hawke's Bay has 217, Lakes has 137, Canterbury has 356 and Southern has 617. Tai Rāwhiti, again, records the lowest case numbers with 46. Some three cases are of unknown location.

Hospitalisations have increased again to 368 - yesterday it was 327. There are 123 hospitalisations across the three Auckland DHBs, of which Counties Manukau is recording 23, Waitematā recording 39 and Auckland has 61. Elsewhere, Lakes, Tai Rāwhiti and West Coast each have one person in hospital. Canterbury has 50, Southern has 32, Waikato has 24 and Northland has 10. Some 11 people are in intensive care units.