Covid-19: 878 new cases and two deaths in Canterbury

There are 878 new community cases of Covid-19 in Canterbury today and two more virus-related deaths have been reported in the region.

There are 6000 new cases across New Zealand - including 90 in South Canterbury - as well as 363 people in hospital with the virus and nine deaths, the Ministry of Health reported on Monday.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers is 7712 - while last Monday it was 7702.

Of the nine deaths reported today, two were people from Canterbury, one was from the Auckland region, two were from Taranaki, two were from Bay of Plenty, and two were from Wellington. One person was in their 30s, three were in their 80s and five were in aged over 90. Of these people, eight were female and one was male.

The total number of reported deaths of people with Covid-19 is 1064. The seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 12.

Of the 363 people in hospital with Covid-19, 14 are in intensive care, 56 are in Canterbury DHB hospitals and 10 are in South Canterbury hospitals.

The other people being treated in hospital are in Northland (eight), Waitematā (40), Counties Manukau (35), Auckland (66), Waikato (22), Bay of Plenty (seven), Lakes (two), Tairāwhiti (one), Hawke's Bay (17), Taranaki (eight), Whanganui (six), MidCentral (14), Wairarapa (four), Hutt Valley (nine), Capital and Coast (13), Nelson Marlborough (seven), West Coast (two) and the Southern region (36).

Today's update comes as experts urge Kiwis to not become complacent. While new daily Covid cases appear to be on the decline in Canterbury, with 799 on Sunday, 985 on Saturday and 1165 on Friday, cases in Auckland have risen by 75 per cent over the past month.

Today's new community cases are in Northland (158), Auckland (2053), Waikato (463), Bay of Plenty (206), Lakes (77), Hawke's Bay (163), MidCentral (196), Whanganui (85), Taranaki (179), Tairāwhiti (27), Wairarapa (45), Capital and Coast (444), Hutt Valley (181), Nelson Marlborough (230), Canterbury (878), South Canterbury (90), Southern (461) and the West Coast (62). The location of two cases is unknown.

Health authorities have also identified 58 new imported cases of Covid-19. The total number of active community cases of the virus today is 53,964.

Yesterday, new cases in the community dropped below 5000 for the first time in three months - coming in on Sunday at 4990.

While this figure is down, University of Otago public health epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker told RNZ modelling indicates we're likely to see a big upsurge of cases over winter.

"It's always good to look at the moving average cause cases bounce up from day to day and the trend has now plateaued and is starting to track upwards and case numbers in Auckland have risen about 75 per cent in the last four weeks," said Baker.

He said during winter, respiratory illnesses, including influenza, are transmitted easier during winter. Telling the difference between Covid and other respiratory illnesses would also be more difficult, he said.

"At the moment there are more forces favouring the virus than holding it back," said Baker.

Meanwhile, Wellington Mayor Andy Foster has tested positive for Covid-19.

Foster tested positive on Sunday after developing light symptoms earlier that day.

On Monday morning his symptoms were light to moderate, and he will continue some of his duties via Zoom.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's recent bout of Covid-19 has put at risk her first White House visit and meeting with US President Joe Biden ahead of her trip to the United States.

Ardern said the issue was her recent infection with Covid-19 rather than any unwillingness to meet on either side. No other country's leader had had Covid-19 so soon before going to the White House and that had resulted in uncertainty.

Officials have been trying to secure a slightly later date for a meeting - that is yet to be confirmed, but there is optimism it will now take place next week after the rest of her visit to the US.

Ardern's positive Covid result also meant she had to delay her departure by a couple of days to meet the US requirement of a 10-day wait after testing positive. That meant events, including to promote the film industry in Los Angeles, had to be scrapped and Ardern will instead start in New York.

-With NZ Herald








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