Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield gets a Covid-19 PCR test. Photo: supplied

Covid-19 in New Zealand: our status in numbers

The latest Covid-19 data in New Zealand, and how it compares with the world.

If you’re like me, you’ll be back in the office today slowly recovering from three weeks of sun, sea, sand and a distinct lack of thinking about Covid-19. But as the pandemic continues to rage around the world (and with our live updates on holiday) let’s take stock of some of the latest coronavirus data.

4 New Covid-19 cases reported today

There were four new cases of Covid-19 detected in managed isolation overnight, the Ministry of Health announced in today’s belated 1pm press release.

Of these, three arrived on January 6 – all from Russia. They are part of the international group of mariners reported late last week (more on them later) and are all in quarantine in Christchurch. 

Additionally, a fourth case arrived from the United Kingdom on January 9. The ministry does not specify if this case, which tested positive during routine testing on their first day in isolation, is of the new strain of Covid-19 rapidly spreading across the UK. 

31 – New Covid-19 cases between January 8 and 10

Yesterday, the ministry revealed that roughly 10 new Covid-19 cases had been detected in managed isolation each day over the three day period of January 8 to 10. That represents a fairly steep increase in the number of new cases being detected compared to the pre-Christmas period.

However, it’s no cause for alarm, said the ministry. “The recent increase in Covid-19 cases at New Zealand’s borders is expected, given case numbers continue to increase globally,” a spokesperson said.

14 – Mariners who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Christchurch recently

A total of 190 mariners arrived in the country last Wednesday, all entering managed isolation in Christchurch. So far, 14 have tested positive for Covid-19 – although eight have been deemed historical. 

Three are new active cases, said the ministry, and further testing of the three new cases reported today may determine if they are also historical cases. According to the ministry, “a number” of mariners were unable to board flights to New Zealand after testing positive for the coronavirus before departure.

Late last year, another group of arriving Russian mariners led to an outbreak within a Christchurch managed isolation hotel.

19 – Cases of the UK strain in NZ 

The Ministry of Health has identified 19 cases of Covid-19 at the border with the variant known as “B.1.1.7” along with one case with the South African variant B.1.351.

The UK strain of Covid-19 is estimated to be 150% more transmissible than previous variants, according to the ministry, “but there is no evidence at this stage that the length of the infection period is any different”.

Further work is under way to understand more about both new strains, said the ministry.

800,000 – Covid-19 cases detected worldwide yesterday

While in isolation it may seem a bit scary that over 30 cases were detected on our shores in recent days, it must be taken within the wider context that literally hundreds of thousands of cases are being reported worldwide each day.

In the US alone, 252,000 cases were reported yesterday, with more than 3000 deaths.

20% – Those in England who have had Covid-19

New modelling suggests 12.4 million people may have been infected, according to reports, vastly higher than the 2.4 million figure recorded by track and trace.

416,129 – Poster scans recorded in NZ yesterday

There are just under 2.5 million registered app users, according to the ministry. A total of 416,000 scans in 24 hours is a tiny proportion.

77 – Active cases in New Zealand 

All of these cases are imported cases detected in managed isolation, which is a huge relief. The total number of confirmed cases on our shores since the pandemic began is 1,866.

Meanwhile, the ministry said we can expect to see more historical cases detected at the border due to an increasing number of people having been infected, and then recovering, before travelling to New Zealand. “While these individuals may still have residual viral particles in their nasopharynx, which are picked up by our tests, they are no longer considered to be infectious,” a ministry spokesperson said.

Zero – Covid-19 cases in the community 

Scan!




The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.