The Ministry of Health is reporting 5,647 community cases of Covid-19, 350 hospitalisations and three deaths.
Today’s seven-day rolling average of community case numbers is 7,510 – approximately the same as last Sunday’s 7,414 reported cases.
Border case with omicron BA.5 variant
A person who travelled from South Africa to New Zealand has been confirmed as having the BA.5 variant of omicron. This is the first known detection of the variant in New Zealand.
The person arrived in New Zealand on 26 April, returned a positive RAT from their day 5/6 test on 1 May and a positive PCR sample taken on 2 May. The result was reported the following day. Whole genome sequencing was undertaken as part of ongoing border surveillance for emerging variants and subsequently confirmed the BA.5 variant.
The person followed all testing and reporting requirements, allowing this new sub-variant to be identified quickly, and has now completed their isolation at home.
This follows the detection of BA.4 on 1 May, also in a person who had travelled from South Africa.
Both BA.4 and BA.5 have been reported in Southern Africa and Europe, and both variants have been detected in Australia. The arrival of the BA.5 sub-variant in New Zealand is not unexpected and underlines the importance of the rapid antigen testing of all arrivals at day 0/1 and day 5/6, followed by a PCR test of any arrivals who test positive, the ministry said.
Three people have died with Covid-19. This reporting period includes people who have died over the past three days.
These deaths take the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 860. The seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 16.
Of the people whose deaths we are reporting today two people were from Canterbury and one from MidCentral.
Two people were in their 80s and one was aged over 90. Two were men and one was a woman.