Child under 10 among today's 17 Covid-related deaths

Another Covid-related death and 941 new cases of the virus were reported in Canterbury today. 

Nationally there were 5630 new community cases - including 79 in South Canterbury - and 362 people in hospital with the virus on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health said.

The ministry also reported another 17 Covid-related deaths today, including a child aged under 10.

Of these deaths, nine were from the Auckland region, one was from Waikato, one from the Bay of Plenty, two from Taranaki, one from Hawke’s Bay, one from MidCentral, one from Canterbury and one from Southern. One person was in their 50s, two were in their 60s, three were in their 70s, eight were in their 80s and two were aged over 90. One person was a child aged under 10. Ten were male and seven were female.

The total number of publicly reported deaths is now 1432 and the seven-day rolling average is 12.

Of the 362 people in hospital, four are in HDU or ICU, 45 are in Canterbury DHB hospitals and three are in South Canterbury hospitals.

The other cases in hospital are in Northland: 7; Waitematā: 41; Counties Manukau: 35; Auckland: 62; Waikato: 23; Bay of Plenty: 12; Lakes: 1; Tairāwhiti: 2; Hawke’s Bay: 9; Taranaki: 15; Whanganui: 3; MidCentral: 27; Wairarapa: 0; Hutt Valley: 20; Capital and Coast: 15; Nelson Marlborough: 10; West Coast: 2; and Southern: 30.

The seven-day rolling average of new community case numbers is 4878, while last Tuesday it was 5983.

Today's new community cases are in Northland (167), Auckland (1,663), Waikato (352), Bay of Plenty (182), Lakes (73), Hawke’s Bay (179), MidCentral (176), Whanganui (58), Taranaki (173), Tairāwhiti (42), Wairarapa (57), Capital and Coast (493), Hutt Valley (224), Nelson Marlborough (240), Canterbury (941), South Canterbury (70), Southern (493), West Coast (45). The locations of two cases are unknown.

There are 65 new imported cases today, the ministry said. The total number of active cases in new Zealand is 34,124.

Today's update comes after the Ministry apologised after accidentally sending a text message to 6000 people telling them they have Covid-19 and need to isolate.

An uploading error on Friday afternoon and through into Saturday morning meant people were sent repeat text messages mistakenly telling them they had returned a positive Covid-19 test.

The message was sent to people who have tested positive for the virus in the past 10 days, meaning the text was a duplicate of advice they had already received.

The Covid-19 Response Minister's office said Ayesha Verrall was aware of the incident and has been assured by the Ministry it was the result of a glitch.

The ministry's contact tracing team discovered the glitch early on Saturday morning and the error was fixed that day.

Text messages have been sent to all those affected to clarify the error, apologise and provide a phone number should people require further information or support, the Ministry said.

While Covid case numbers are flattening, health experts are tracking a rise in flu cases at the same time that newly-arrived Covid-19 subvariants look set to begin a second Omicron wave – spelling an especially tough winter for hospitals.

There are early indications that Covid-19, influenza and other winter illnesses might align to cause a mass of infections in communities this winter, at a time hospitals are already under heavy strain.

Scientists are also watching three new Omicron subvariants – BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 - beginning to take off.

Covid-19 modellers hadn't been expecting the second wave until around late winter or early spring – but overseas experience and data trends suggest the country is in for another surge much sooner.

"If you look at ESR data on the frequency of the different variants, you can see quite clearly that they are on the increase," said Professor Michael Plank, of Covid-19 Modelling Aotearoa.

"It's not entirely clear which one is going to win out... but it looks at least like one of those variants is likely to take over – and that's likely to happen at some point in the next month or so."

-With NZ Herald

Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter