Saturday, December 4

Covid-19 wrap for September 24 – Unique figures for new cases, Auckland’s first weekend at level 3

Auckland heads into its first weekend at alert level 3 this Friday evening, and the upper Hauraki area at a “tailor made” level 4 is expected to return to level 2 at midnight on Saturday.

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Auckland is heading into its first weekend at Level 3, Hauraki will move to Level 2 at midnight Saturday, police have released checkpoint data, and Maori and Pasifika should have been prioritized for vaccines, experts say. .
Photo: RNZ

It is also the first time in weeks that the number of daily cases has dropped to single figures, with only nine new community cases reported today.

New cases

The number of new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand dropped to single figures for the first time in weeks, with nine new cases, the Health Ministry reported today.

Today’s nine cases have been linked to previous cases. Six are known contacts and three are domestic cases.

There are now a total of 1,131 cases in the outbreak. Of these, 902 have recovered.

Yesterday 15 new community cases were reported, all in Auckland. Only one of those cases remains unrelated.

There are 13 people in the hospital, with three people in the ICU.

Hauraki to alert level 2

The Upper Hauraki area will join most of New Zealand at Alert Level 2 after there are no further positive results, the Deputy Prime Minister confirmed.

All Upper Hauraki results have been negative, except for household members who have had positive cases.

Robertson later confirmed that the area will go from alert level 3 to 2 at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

The first dose of the vaccine in the area is at 60.1 percent.

Maori and Pasifika should have been prioritized for vaccines: experts

Maori health experts say that the age-based approach created inequalities in the launch of the Covid-19 vaccine and that prioritizing the Maori and Pasifika vaccination could have slowed the Delta outbreak.

A Rotorua district health board member and representative from Whānau Ora says the implementation typified a “back of the queue, back of the bus” approach for Maori.

The Health Ministry says vaccine sequencing was established to vaccinate those most at risk first and is working to increase the rates of Maori and Pasifika.

The director of the Te Pūmanawa Hauora Maori health and development research center at Massey University, Professor Chris Cunningham, said that more than half of the Maori population were under the age of 30, a statistic related to a longer life expectancy. lower than the general population.

When the vaccination plan prioritized those over 30 over the youngest, it effectively excluded more than half of the Maori population, Cunningham said. The average age of the Maori is about 26 years.

Auckland locals were told to adhere to the rules

The Mayor of Auckland encourages residents to follow the Covid-19 lockdown rules as the city enters its first weekend of the latest lockdown at alert level 3.

Phil Goff said it was encouraging that the current Covid-19 numbers were in the single digits.

But he says that people must remember that Covid-19 is still in the community and that the city must remain vigilant.

Goff urged residents to stay inside the bubbles.

He was also encouraging people to get vaccinated this weekend, if possible.

Meanwhile, Auckland City Council was speeding up some new street trading licenses to help businesses if the city goes to alert level 2.

The council said it would extend the expiration date of existing alfresco dining licenses.

It would also speed up street trading licenses.

Compliance update

Police released their latest compliance update, reminding Aucklandites not to pop their bubbles after a series of arrests at the southern checkpoint.

A 63-year-old man was arrested at the Oram Road checkpoint after repeatedly refusing to provide his details to the police.

The man received a warning and continues to refuse to give details and was subsequently arrested where he resisted the police.

He was summoned to appear before the Pukekohe District Court.

A 31-year-old woman was arrested at the same checkpoint after being identified as wanted for arrest in connection with robberies in Cambridge.

At the Rawiri Road checkpoint, a vehicle was observed last night crossing the loading lane at high speed without its headlights on.

The driver of the vehicle was detained at SH2 and a search of the vehicle located a rifle in the trunk.

A 41-year-old man faces multiple charges, including illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Auckland checkpoint figures

As of 11:59 p.m. yesterday, a total of 256,962 vehicles had been stopped at checkpoints on the northern and southern limits of Auckland since 11:59 p.m. on 31 August.

A total of 4,035 vehicles have turned around during this time.

Yesterday 21,854 vehicles were processed at checkpoints and 457 vehicles turned around, less than half of the vehicles that turned around the day before.

A total of 80 vehicles were turned away yesterday at the northern checkpoints, while 377 vehicles turned around at the southern checkpoints.

As of 11:59 p.m. on 21 September, 7,564 heavy vehicles had been stopped and 328 of them had been turned around to attempt to leave Tāmaki Makaurau.

Of those vehicles, 56 were turned around yesterday.

Diwali festival canceled

The Auckland Diwali Festival has been canceled due to Covid-19.

Celebrating a holy day on the Hindu calendar, the festival is popular with Auckland’s 250,000 Indian population.

The organizer, Auckland Unlimited, said the festival scheduled for the end of October could not continue until the city was at alert level 1.

Instead, he had planned to organize some online activities.

Mayor Phil Goff said it was disappointing but understandable.

The blockade hinders the loneliness of the elderly

Another prolonged lockdown in Auckland is making it harder for older people to avoid loneliness.

Social isolation was already a major problem before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Surveys of 40,000 New Zealand retirees living at home between 2017 and 2019 showed that one in five felt lonely.

Auckland Age Concern social workers have been talking to older people on the phone every day to reduce feelings of social isolation.

Age Concern Auckland CEO Kevin Lamb told RNZ that with each day of lockdown, loneliness was becoming a bigger challenge for older people in general.

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