New community case in Canterbury, another death recorded

New Zealand's total number of confirmed cases is now 1620. Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Another person has died with Covid in New Zealand, and there are 62 new community cases today, including one in Canterbury. 

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said a patient in in their 50s who was admitted to hospital on 11 December had died.

"Our thoughts are with their whānau and friends at this sad time."

There are now 45 people in hospital with the coronavirus - including two in Waikato and two in Tauranga - with eight in intensive care.

Today's new cases were in Auckland (37), Waikato (5), Bay of Plenty (14) and Rotorua (5).

There was also one new case reported in Christchurch today and public health officials are investigating recent travel to Auckland as the source of their infection.

The case travelled from Auckland to Christchurch on Monday 20 December on Air NZ Flight NZ543.

"All passengers on the flight are being treated as close contacts and are required to get tested. Contact tracing is underway to contact all passengers."

All of the Waikato cases are in Te Kūiti, while seven of the 14 new cases in the Western Bay of Plenty today have been linked to existing cases.

There were also 10 cases reported at the border, with travellers from the UK, USA, Greece, UAE, Australia, Germany, Kenya and India testing positive.

The ministry did not say if any of these people had the new highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.

Cases of the Delta variant, which sparked a months-long lockdown in Auckland in August, have fallen sharply in recent weeks - new community cases were at 56 yesterday, most in Auckland, compared to more than 200 a day just over a month ago.

But fears remain of Omicron taking hold should the virus slip past MIQ defences.

The highly-infectious variant has been spreading rapidly overseas, with surges in cases numbers since it was first detected, including in South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

There were 56 new community cases reported yesterday.

There have now been 10,493 cases in the current outbreak and a total of 13,349 in New Zealand since the pandemic began.

There were 21,338 vaccine doses administered yesterday, including 1413 first doses and 7135 second doses. Hawkes Bay DHB has just 415 doses to go to reach 90 percent fully vaccinated, while Waikato has just 1436 second doses to go.

 - additional reporting NZ Herald

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