The Ministry of Health has announced the deaths of 24 people with Covid-19 today, eight of whom died yesterday and a further 16 who died in the past three weeks.
The 16 additional deaths were reported to the ministry by local public health authorities in the past 24 hours as part of changes to the reporting of deaths announced last week. “Delays to reporting can be associated with people dying with, rather than of Covid-19, and Covid being discovered after they have died,” said the ministry in a statement.
Eight of the 24 deaths announced today were at aged residential care facilities.
Of the 24 people being reported today, three died in Northland, seven in Auckland, seven in Waikato, two in the Bay of Plenty, two in MidCentral and two in Wairarapa.
One of these people was in their 40s, one in their 50s, four in their 60s, three in their 70s, eight in their 80s and six in their 90s. Eleven were women and 12 were men. Demographic information for one person is not available.
The average age of the people announced today was 79 and this has been increasing over the last week, said the ministry.
The deaths announced today take the total number of publicly reported deaths to date to 141, and the rolling seven-day average of deaths publicly announced over the past seven days is seven, up from four yesterday.
“At this point in the outbreak, we are seeing increasing numbers of people dying with omicron. Sadly, this trend is not unexpected, and our thoughts are with the families of these people,” said the ministry.
“As has occurred with omicron overseas, while Covid-19 cases are usually seen in higher numbers among younger people early in the outbreak, over time the more severe and fatal consequences of the virus fall disproportionately on our older and more vulnerable populations.”
The average stay in hospital for Covid-19 patients in the northern region is lengthening, said the ministry, with the average age increasing. “This indicates those being admitted are more likely to be vulnerable because of their older age and pre-existing non-Covid health conditions.”
Meanwhile, 971 people are in hospital with Covid-19, 21 of those in ICU. There are 19,542 new cases in the community, a slight drop from yesterday.