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Covid-19: 46 new community cases, 48 in hospital

There are 46 new cases of Covid-19 in the community on Wednesday, and 48 people in hospital.

Of the 46, there are 30 in Auckland, three in Northland, six in Waikato, four in Lakes, two in Tairāwhiti and one in Canterbury, said the Ministry of Health.

There are 48 cases currently being treated in hospitals, with seven of those in ICU.

Of those in hospital, 15 are at Auckland City Hospital, 15 at North Shore, 21 in Middlemore, three are in Tauranga, two are in Rotorua and one in Waikato.

READ MORE:
* Covid-19: Only 18 new community cases, 1 death from the virus
* Covid-19: 51 people in hospital, 5 in intensive care, 76 cases
* Covid-19: Latest locations of interest as of September 22

The Ministry said the two cases in Tairāwhiti reported on December 26 were not added to the official number count until today, due to data reporting issues.

There are 46 new cases of Covid-19 in the community. (File photo)

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

There are 46 new cases of Covid-19 in the community. (File photo)

In Auckland, health and welfare providers are now supporting 1417 people to isolate at home, including 406 cases, while providers in the Waikato region are supporting 61 cases.

Of the six new Waikato cases, comprising five in Te Kūiti and one at a Palmerston North residential address, all are linked to previous cases.

Three new cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the Far North’s Hokianga region, all of which are from the same household and linked to an existing case.

All four Lakes cases are in Rotorua and all bar one are close contacts of known cases – an investigation is under way to find how the fourth is linked to the outbreak.

The total number of Omicron cases identified at the border is 71, up from yesterday’s count of 49.

The rising number is likely to cause concern for those with travel plans on the horizon – just last week, the Government announced that New Zealand’s border reopening plan would be delayed until February as a result of Omicron.

By that time it is hoped the booster programme will be well under way, and more will be known on the variant.

Testing numbers have dropped over the Christmas period. (File photo)

VANESSA LAURIE/Stuff

Testing numbers have dropped over the Christmas period. (File photo)

On vaccinations, so far 279,853 booster doses have been administered.

All DHBs except Northland have surpassed the 90 per cent mark for first doses, and all but Northland, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Tairāwhiti, Taranaki, Whanganui, West Coast have surpassed 90 per cent for their second.

Of the vaccines administered to date, 94 per cent of the eligible population have received their first dose – at 3,972,323 first doses – while 3,839,131 people, or 91 per cent, have received their second.

On Tuesday, the Ministry announced 18 new community cases – the lowest number of cases reported since September 28, when eight were detected.

The decline appeared promising, but experts said a sigh of relief shouldn’t be given too soon – the low case numbers are due to poor testing rates.

Figures announced on December 27 show only 5716 tests were processed across the country on Boxing Day – compared to the 19,027 swabs taken across the country on December 23.

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman confirmed that testing numbers dropped as a result of testing stations and GP clinics being closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

“Holiday periods are also usually a time of lower testing numbers, so a drop-off at this time of year is not unexpected,” she said.

In the 24 hours before Wednesday’s announcement, 8773 tests were taken throughout the country, with 3886 of those occurring in Auckland.

The Ministry reiterated that testing numbers remain lower than usual because of the holiday period.

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