Omicron confirmed in Canterbury

There have been 97 new community cases reported today, with 11 new Omicron cases identified in the community.

In a statement, Ministry of Health said 116 community cases of Covid-19 had either been confirmed as the Omicron variant or had been linked to a previously reported Omicron case.

It said there had now been 39 cases connected to the Soundsplash music festival in Hamilton last weekend - including two new cases in Northland, one in Hawke's Bay and three in Tairāwhiti today - and this number is expected to grow as further test results are received.

"Given the increase in cases associated with Soundsplash, the Ministry of Health advises all attendees to get a test, if they have not already done so. If you attended the festival, please let the testing centre know that you were at the festival."

It said two of the four community cases in Canterbury reported earlier in the week have now been confirmed to be Omicron, and there are active cases being treated as Omicron in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, MidCentral, Canterbury, Tairāwhiti and Nelson-Tasman.

The 97 new community cases reported today are in Northland (1), Auckland (61), Waikato (14), Tairawhiti (3), Bay of Plenty (8), Rotorua (7) and Hawke's Bay (3).

Three of the eight new cases are onboard the Singapore-flagged Maersk Bogor container ship, which is currently under quarantine at the Port of Tauranga.

The Ministry said more than two dozen of the crew on board the ship - which arrived in port on Friday morning have experienced Covid-like illness. Testing returned three positive results so far.

No one has been allowed off the ship and it is due to leave port tomorrow.

There are now seven people in hospital with Covid-19, although none are in intensive care.

The Health Ministry said there were also 58 new cases at the border. The new cases came from UAE, UK, USA, Germany, Singapore, India, Albania, Australia, Egypt, Malaysia, Canada, Czech Republic, Qatar and Mexico.

There were 105 new community cases reported yesterday, with 15 new Omicron cases identified. There were also 45 new cases identified at the border.

There have now been 15,770 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

The Ministry said Covid had been detected in wastewater tests in Dannevirke, Kerikeri, Pukekohe, Paihia and Rawene earlier this week.

Professor Michael Plank says Omicron cases tended to double in two to four days at the start of an outbreak.

"We could see numbers continue to shoot up into the several hundreds over the next week or so."

There were 1251 first doses; 2212 second doses; 12,860 paediatric doses and 46,271 booster doses given yesterday.

There has been a total of 1,257,758 booster doses given in New Zealand.

The Ministry said Nelson Marlborough was only five first doses short of partially vaccinating 90 percent of Māori and it will be the eighth DHB area to achieve this milestone.

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