Covid-19 Omicron outbreak: Daily cases, hospitalisations and deaths revealed

Otago University’s Professor Michael Baker is cautiously optimistic we’re now on top of the Omicron outbreak.

He says every DHB, apart from the South Island’s West Coast, should be confident they’ve now hit or are experiencing their peak.

Today’s Covid figures are set to be revealed about 1pm as New Zealand’s daily cases continue to trend downwards.

While there is optimism over the steady decline in cases, officials have warned to expect a long tail of hospitalisations.

The Ministry of Health reported 8531 new community cases on Saturday, nearly 1400 fewer cases than the previous day.

The seven-day rolling average was 10,843, down from 13,804 a week prior.

There were also 11 Covid-related deaths reported on Saturday – four in the Auckland region, two in Wellington and one each from Waikato, the Lakes District, Hawke’s Bay Whanganui and Canterbury.

This brought New Zealand’s total of publicly reported deaths to 477.

A total of 635 people were in hospital with Covid-19 yesterday, an increase of nine from the previous day.Eighteen people were in intensive care.

While New Zealand’s cases appear to have peaked, health officials are concerned about what could happen over the coming months – with waning Covid immunity and the onset of winter illnesses.

Dion O’Neale, from Te Punaha Matatini, said New Zealanders’ immunity from vaccination and infection will be waning over the next few months.

“Both of those will be waning at about the same speed and as we move into winter that’s going to be around when that immunity is lower combined with that seasonal effect so we’d expect to see case numbers to be going up then.”

O’Neale said he expected cases to settle at about 1000 per day per million people for now, which almost reflected the situation in Auckland.

Earlier this week Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners medical director said GPs were concerned about the onset of winter illnesses on top of Covid.

Pressure on the health system throughout Covid had led to lower childhood immunisation rates for things like whooping cough and measles, Betty said.

“Every winter the system becomes stretched in New Zealand and we’re going to have Covid on top of it.

“Covid is still going to be present, it’s just going to be in peaks and troughs … so that is a really mixed picture with a lot of potential demand on the system over the coming months.

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