New Zealand Covid daily cases pass 100 for first time since pandemic began

Director general of health says country is following similar trajectory to UK, with vast majority of hospital cases being unvaccinated

New Zealand’s daily Covid-19 case numbers have gone into three figures for the first time since the pandemic began, as it recorded 102 new cases in the community on Thursday.

Thursday’s cases broke Tuesday’s record of 94, bringing the total in the Delta outbreak to 2,260 cases.

The deputy prime minister, Grant Robertson, said health experts and the government had been expecting case numbers to rise, but he sympathised with those who may be shocked by the rapidity of the increase.

“The ups and downs can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. You will have heard from all of us who have spoke from here recently, that we can expect to see case numbers rise. We do still want to keep them under control and we are working hard to do that,” he said.

Robertson said that while keeping a lid on case numbers was important to reduce hospital admissions and pressure on the health system, “case numbers in and of themselves are not the only measure that we need to use going forward to assess the severity of the outbreak”.

“We are facing this outbreak with higher rates of vaccination than perhaps others have in other countries. We are in a strong position, but we do need to build on that and see more people be vaccinated.”

Of the latest cases, 94 are in Auckland and eight are in the neighbouring region of Waikato. Forty are yet to be linked to a current case, bringing the total number of unlinked cases to 199 in the past fortnight.

Just over 82% of the population over 12 years old has now had at least one dose of the vaccine, and nearly 66% are fully inoculated. There are 46 people in hospital and seven are in intensive care.

The director general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said it was clear that Covid-19 had become “a disease of the unvaccinated”.

“UK data shows that of 40,000 patients hospitalised in the six months to the middle of this year in the UK, 84% of those people hospitalised hadn’t been vaccinated and only 3% of cases in hospital were fully vaccinated.”

Bloomfield said the data for New Zealand was similar, with only 1.7% of people hospitalised in this outbreak being vaccinated.

He urged everyone to get vaccinated to protect themselves and the community.


Eva Corlett in Wellington

The GuardianTramp

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