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The number of people with Covid-19 in Southern hospitals has increased, and two more deaths were reported yesterday.
For the second straight day there were 900 new cases of the disease in the region as the Omicron outbreak’s long tail continued into a sixth week.
After the first case in the South on February 9, new cases reached 910 a day on March 7. They reached a daily high of 1642 on March 22.
Since then, case numbers have remained high and the Southern District Health Board has now warned the virus is starting to circulate among more vulnerable age groups, which could lead to further hospitalisations, or deaths.
There were 5825 active cases in the Southern district and 36 people in Southern hospitals — in Dunedin (23), Southland (11) Dunstan (1) and Maniototo (1) — the Southern DHB said in its daily briefing yesterday.
None of the patients was in intensive care, it said.
The Ministry of Health yesterday reported another 20 deaths with Covid-19 nationally, including 18 people who died over the past five days and another two who died after April 24.
Ministry data includes people dying with Covid-19 as well as those who died from Covid-19 — at times an infection is discovered only after a person has died.
Yesterday’s deaths take the total number of publicly reported deaths in New Zealand to 821.
Of the deaths reported yesterday, three people were from Auckland, one was from Waikato, five were from Bay of Plenty, two from Hawke’s Bay, one was from the Greater Wellington region, one was from Nelson-Malborough, five were from Canterbury and two were from the South, the ministry said.
One person was under 10 years old, one was in their 50s, five were in their 60s, two were in their 70s, seven were in their 80s and four were aged over 90, it said.