Covid update: 173 new cases, 1 new Canterbury case

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay are announcing the new Covid-19 numbers today.

Dr McElnay confirmed there were 173 new community cases of Covid-19 to announce today.

Of these case 154 are in Auckland, 15 are in Waikato, one is in Northland, two are in Bay of Plenty and one case is in the Lakes DHB area. 

There are no additional cases to report today in Wairarapa, Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, MidCentral or Taranaki.

There are 78 cases in hospital and 7 of these are in ICU or HDU.

There is one new Canterbury case, Dr McElnay confirmed.

This case is a known household contact and has been in isolation before testing positive, she said.

The case was confirmed after the 9am cut off time for today's total, so it will be included in tomorrow's case numbers.

There were 18,092 vaccine doses administered yesterday, made up of 6319 first doses and 11,773 second doses. To date, 92% of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose and 85% are fully vaccinated. More than 3.55 million people in New Zealand are double vaccinated.

There is one new case to report in Northland today. This is a child who is linked to an Auckland case who has been isolating.

An unlinked in Ruakaka reported yesterday has now been linked.

There were 15 cases confirmed in Waikato overnight - six in Huntly, four in Hamilton, three in Te Kūiti, and two in Ngāruawāhia.

All cases have been linked to previous cases. 

One of the cases detected in the Bay of Plenty today is based in the Tauranga area and is a close contact of a previously confirmed case. They’re already in isolation.

The second person being reported today returned a positive result after receiving a test in Tauranga.

However, they usually live in Waikato – the person will be transferred safely back to their home in Waikato.

There is one new case to report in Lakes, based in Rotorua. The case is a close contact of a previously reported case and has been in isolation.

'No need to be alarmed' about new variant

While there are no cases in New Zealand of the Covid-19 variant currently causing concern in South Africa, deputy prime minister Grant Robertson says it is a strong reminder that the global pandemic is far from over.

Speaking about the new variant, Robertson said he had confirmed with ESR that no variant of that nature had come into New Zealand.

"But it's a good example of why we need to be cautious. There's no need at this point to be alarmed about it from New Zealand's perspective, but it does point out that the global pandemic is still ongoing and New Zealand's response needs to be careful, methodical and cautious."

He noted that the World Health Organisation was meeting overnight and there was still some debate about transmissibility of this variant.

Dr McElnay said New Zealand was watching the situation closely, and genome sequencing on each case that came in across the border would be picked up.

Robertson said they have not had any advice to consider a travel ban on South Africa, but New Zealand does have a high risk country list and will take advice on it.

- additional reporting RNZ

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