Saturday, November 27

Covid-19 lockdown day 13: how it unfolded

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the community dropped to 53 today, while 37 people are hospitalized with the virus, including two who are in stable condition in intensive care.

Covid-19 Wrap Day 13 Compound

Photo: RNZ / Supplied

Case numbers fall

Today there were 53 new cases of Covid-19 in the community, all in Auckland.

The total number of community cases in Auckland is now 547 and in Wellington it is 15, bringing the total number of active cases in the community outbreak to 562.

There are 522 cases that have been clearly epidemiologically linked to another case or subgroup, and another 42 for which the links have not yet been fully established, the ministry said.

Of the current community cases, 37 cases are in the hospital: 32 are in stable condition in a ward and five cases are in stable condition in the ICU. Two cases are at North Shore Hospital, 20 at Middlemore Hospital, 14 at Auckland City Hospital, and one at Wellington Regional Hospital.

“There are adequate isolation and infection prevention and control plans in all hospitals where these patients are managed,” the ministry said.

There are also two community cases recovered in Auckland and another case in an MIQ facility that has now been recovered, bringing the total number of active cases being managed in New Zealand to 603.

Update on testing and vaccination

Yesterday, 16,370 Covid-19 tests were processed across the country.

The ministry said testing centers in Auckland had another busy day yesterday with around 15,000 swabs taken across Auckland, around 10,500 at community testing centers and around 4,500 at general care and urgent care clinics.

The total number of Covid-19 tests processed to date is 2,967,673.

The seven-day moving average is 34,260.

Meanwhile, 47,897 vaccines were administered yesterday. Of these, 36,476 were first doses and 11,421 were second doses. This is a record for a Sunday, the ministry said.

To date (until 11:59 p.m. on August 29), more than 3.33 million doses of the vaccine have been administered.

Of these, 2.17 million are first doses and more than 1.16 million are second doses.

Cabinet ministers will meet today to decide next steps for Auckland and Northland, as experts call for stricter restrictions on alert levels 3 and 4.

Over the weekend, 165 new Covid-19 cases were announced in connection with the Delta outbreak: 82 on Saturday and 83 on Sunday.

Auckland lockdown extends for at least 2 weeks

The cabinet has confirmed that all of New Zealand south of Auckland will move to level 3 starting at 11:59 pm on Tuesday night. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this will be for at least a week, to be reviewed in the Cabinet next week.

Northland will likely join the rest of the country at alert level three starting at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Ardern said.

The cabinet has also confirmed that Auckland will remain at alert level four until September 14. The cabinet will consider next steps for the region on September 13.

Ardern said Level 4 “is making a difference.”

“The work is not done yet and we have to move on.”

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said that most Auckland residents, while disliked by the extension of Alert Level 4 in the city, would understand the need to do so.

“The delta variant is very contagious and spreads rapidly,” he said.

“We know from Sydney’s experience that unless the lockdowns are quickly implemented, robust and well supported, the pandemic will quickly spiral out of control.

“We all want to get back to life as normal as possible as quickly as possible, but for that to happen, the lock must remain in place until the spread of the virus has been suppressed.

For Auckland and Northland, Ardern said the cases in Warkworth were found at the end of the lockdown and were not equivalent to the cases in Wellington, where the cases were monitored and did not appear to have spread.

“We just haven’t had that level of time for the cases that concern us at Warkworth, and with potential contacts beyond. Once we have the same level of reassurance in Northland, we feel safe to move the alert levels up.

He said the government is awaiting the results of the Northland sewage tests and the tests of people who were in places of interest. If everyone returned clear, Northland could go to alert level 3 at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

“Just an indication here if all that evidence is clear,” he said.

Ardern said that had New Zealand not moved to alert level 4, estimates of the number of new cases today could have been around 550.

Northland mayors hope region to ‘decouple’ from Auckland

Last week, it was decided that Te Tai Tokerau would remain at alert level 4 with Tāmaki Makaurau when restrictions ease for most of the country at midnight tomorrow.

That disappointed many in the north, where there have been no community cases.

The government decided to keep Northland at a higher alert level due to a case detected in Warkworth, which is in the northernmost part of Auckland, but the cabinet indicated that Northland will go to alert level 3 on Tuesday if they are not identified. new cases.

Before this afternoon’s decision, Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai said Northland was on edge.

“Most of our fingers are crossed that the decision to reverse us is made from Wednesday along with the rest of the country, we believe that is the correct decision.”

Kaipara Mayor Dr. Jason Smith agreed.

“In an ideal world, the government will make a very clear decision on Northland, it would go to level 3 this week.”

Far North Mayor John Carter also wanted to see Te Tai Tokerau “decoupled” from the stricter restrictions of the big city.

Authorities were looking for ways Northlanders could travel south if they had a lower alert level than Auckland, he said.

“It’s absolutely practical. It’s just a matter of putting the machinery in place to allow that to happen, and it is working on what I understand, right now.”

Carter said what was decided: “Safety first.”

Death of a woman after vaccination related to an adverse side effect

The Independent Covid-19 Vaccine Safety Monitoring Board believes that a woman’s death may have been caused by myocarditis, a rare side effect of the Pfizer vaccine.

It is being treated as the first case in New Zealand where a death in the days after vaccination has been linked to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said the board noted that there were other medical problems occurring at the same time that may have influenced the outcome after vaccination.

The case has been referred to the coroner, who is investigating. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, which can reduce the heart’s ability to pump blood through the body and cause fast or abnormal heart rhythms.

A viral infection usually causes myocarditis.

The ministry said that the benefits of vaccination with the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine continue to “greatly outweigh the risk of Covid-19 infection and side effects of the vaccine, including myocarditis.”

No passports or identification are needed for anyone at the vaccination centers.

The Bay of Plenty District Board of Health yesterday apologized for wrongly requesting passports from Pacific people in line to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

While it is not necessary to show identification to receive a vaccine, some members of the Pasifika community say they were asked to present their passports to get a vaccine in the Bay of Plenty.

The DHB said that requiring a passport for identification is not a policy or a requirement to get vaccinated.

He says he is committed to ensuring this does not happen again.

Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio said it appears to have been an isolated incident, but should never have happened.

He says it caused anguish and pain within the Pacific community.

” I will accept that this is somewhat unique, but that it results in a loss of confidence in the system. The CEO has apologized to the Pacific community. I want to make sure everyone knows that there are no requirements and that we can move on. ”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said health professionals go through a process to ensure that people get their dose and can get a second one, but “there are ways to do it without identification.”

“We just want you to get vaccinated, so being physically here is enough. Nothing more.”

Boredom, family visits and snack search, cited reasons for violating lockdown rules – police

Police say they are satisfied with the general public compliance with Level 4 restrictions over the weekend, but have discovered people hunting, on their way to buy a puppy, trying to get “better quality meat” and more.

“In general, New Zealanders continue to recognize the importance of these restrictions to the health and well-being of all of us,” Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said in a statement.

“Now is not the time to neglect caution or take unnecessary risks. The police will not tolerate behavior that deliberately jeopardizes everyone’s efforts to date.”

Coster said the rules are clear and we’re all familiar with them by now, so the public can expect a shift from education to enforcement measures more quickly.

Dunedin police are reminding people that the lack of preferred fries at the local grocery store is not a reason to travel outside of their neighborhood, as dozens broke lockdown rules over the weekend.

Police set up several checkpoints around the city over the weekend, finding in many that traffic volumes were similar to the usual numbers expected before the pandemic.

Sergeant Major Craig Dinnissen said the majority of those who violated lockdown rules were receptive to the education police approach, although notices of violation were issued to some who refused to come aboard.

Boredom, visiting family and friends, or simply wanting to go out for a walk were some of the most common excuses given to officers, he said.

Others told officers they were driving around town to find their preference for snacks.

Meanwhile, police have made a series of arrests in Waikato after discovering firearms, cash and drugs while officers were conducting lockdown enforcement vehicle stops.

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