Pressure persists in Waitaki

Covid-19 case numbers remain stubbornly high in Waitaki but have dropped markedly in Gore, newly released figures show.

Active cases of the disease have been gradually dropping in most parts of Otago and Southland, but Waitaki and Gore had remained the exceptions.

Figures released by the Southern District Health Board yesterday showed there were 290 active cases in Waitaki, up from 282 last week.

In Gore, meanwhile, there were 102 active cases, a welcome drop from the 192 cases in the town and surrounding area a week ago — a caseload which local GPs had said was placing a strain on their ability to provide normal levels of care.

Doctors in Waitaki have also highlighted the added burden Covid-19 has imposed on their practices, and primary health organisation WellSouth has offered extra resources to practices which needed them.

There were 446 new Covid-19 cases reported in the South yesterday, from a national total of 5499.

The Ministry of Health reported a further 18 deaths of people who had Covid-19, two of whom were from the South.

Southern Covid-19 hospital admissions, which reached 32 on Tuesday, dropped to 24 yesterday.

SDHB chief operating officer Hamish Brown said wards and staff across the health system were under strain given the high numbers of people who required healthcare.

"We would ask that people visiting our hospitals and health care centres remember that there are people under the masks who come to work every day to care for other people requiring help and care," he said.

"Please be kind and look after our health care workers so that they can look after you and your loved ones."

There were 2947 active cases of Covid-19 in Otago and Southland yesterday.

There were 1273 cases in Dunedin, down slightly from 1289 a week ago.

Cases had dropped in Queenstown Lakes, from 465 to 387, and were also down in Invercargill, from 468 to 391.

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