Five more people have died with Covid-19, reports the Ministry of Health. Two were being cared for at North Shore Hospital, two at Middlemore Hospital and one at Auckland City Hospital. Three of the patients were in their 80s, one was in their 70s and one was in their 60s. Three were male and two were female.
Hospitalisations have risen but case numbers have dropped for the second day in a row, with 597 Covid-19 cases in hospital (10 in ICU) and 18,833 new cases in the community, reports the ministry.
This doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve reached the peak, though: “While decreases in cases can be encouraging, the Ministry of Health urges caution. We are expecting cases to jump around, and are continuing to see increases in Covid-19-related hospitalisations,” says the ministry in a statement.
“Additionally, public health officials consider that one possible reason for the decrease in cases could be related to people not self-reporting rapid antigen test results.”
Both positive and negative RAT results should be reported through My Covid Record. People who need help can call 0800 222 478, which is also how children’s results should be reported.
“It is essential we have has much information as possible to inform public health decision-making.”
Of today’s new cases, 17,660 were confirmed by RAT, with just 1,173 by PCR. In the past seven days, 8.8 million RATs have been distributed.
Of the cases, 9,789 are in Auckland, a substantial drop from the daily case count of the past few days (13,231 on Wednesday, 13,237 on Thursday, 13,252 yesterday).
Waikato has 1,575 new cases, Northland 483, Bay of Plenty 1,222, Lakes 459, Hawke’s Bay 327, MidCentral 417, Whanganui 95, Taranaki 264, Tairāwhiti 153, Wairarapa 94, Capital and Coast 1,308, Hutt Valley 576, Nelson Marlborough 258, Canterbury 1,170, South Canterbury 57, Southern 558, West Coast 17, and the region 11 cases are located in is unknown.
There are now 167,793 active community cases across the country.
Seven new cases have been identified at the border, two confirmed and five probable.