Thursday, December 9

Covid-19 wrap: Delta blamed for increased number of subsidies when Telethon-style vaccination event was unveiled

A Telethon-style Vaxathon is planned for ‘Super Saturday’ and the Delta outbreak increases by 43 new community cases and leads thousands to unemployment and winegrowers are looking to cope with a labor shortage.

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From top left: There are another 8,500 people claiming benefits, hopes for a large turnout for vaccines, trials continue in Northland, and the wine industry wants to hire kiwi labor.
Photo: 123RF / RNZ

The numbers

  • 43 new community cases, 40 in Auckland, three in Waikato
  • 24 epidemiologically linked; 19 yet to be linked
  • 34 people in the hospital, five in the ICU or HDU
  • There is no positive wastewater test in any region.
  • 16,565 tests were taken in the last 24 hours.
  • 69,118 doses of vaccine were administered; 1st dose: 15,107; 2nd doses: 54,011
  • 58% of eligible kiwis are fully vaccinated; 82% have received a dose

Delta puts more people on the job

Since the start of the Delta outbreak, 8,500 more people have benefited, figures from the Ministry of Social Development show.

While the job loss has not been as severe as the first shutdown in March last year, many thousands of whānau are still struggling to make ends meet as Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.

Infometrics chief economist Brad Olsen said that before the first positive case was detected in August, the job market was heating up.

But the return to the confinement has thrown a monkey wrench in the works.

Most of the increase is due to people having switched to jobseeker support, half of them in Auckland.

A $ 20 benefit increase, announced in the May budget, went into effect in early July. But Olsen said the increase will have been eaten up by inflation.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has noted that greater support for families in difficult situations is being considered.

Northland case

Chief Health Officer Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the woman who traveled from Auckland to Northland with falsified documentation and her traveling companion are at MIQ in Auckland.

There are 18 close contacts associated with the original case and of these 17 have been contacted, tested and are isolating. The remaining person is being “actively followed by our contact trackers.”

The second woman was detained by police under section 70 of the Health Act after she was located in West Auckland last night.

Today it was announced that she is also positive.

Northland is at Alert Level 3 through at least Thursday due to the first woman’s visit to the region.

Meanwhile, Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai fears that Covid-19 is spreading undetected.

He said that with so few locations of interest, he fears that it has not yet been detected and that it is vital that people get tested.

A sign for Covid-19 testing at Kawakawa.

A sign for testing at Kawakawa in Northland.
Photo: RNZ / Nita Blake-Percentage

Telethon-style vaccination campaign is taking shape

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expects 100,000 New Zealanders to take the opportunity to get vaccinated on Saturday, beating the previous record of just over 93,000.

Television personalities such as Jesse Mulligan, Paddy Gower, Kanoa Lloyd and Mike McRoberts will participate in the Super Saturday vaccination campaign that will be shown live on TV3 and Māori TV.

The television format will be like the telethons that were a popular form of entertainment in the 1970s and 1980s. They raised money by encouraging people to pledge money for charities. This time, TV presenters will urge people to get vaccinated.

Ardern said it is “an opportunity to roll up our sleeves for New Zealand and help us become the most vaccinated and therefore protected countries in the world.”

Currently, 82 percent of eligible New Zealanders age 12 and older have received their first dose of the vaccine, and 58 percent have received their second dose and are now fully vaccinated.

More information about the event is available at the government’s Covid-19. website.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 12: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to the media during a press conference in Parliament on October 12, 2021 in Wellington, New Zealand.  4

Jacinda Ardern urges New Zealanders to support the vaccination initiative scheduled for Saturday.
Photo: Getty Images 2021

Traveler arrives in Queenstown despite not being exempt

A man who violated alert level 3 by traveling from Whangārei to Queenstown without the proper travel documents tested negative for Covid-19.

The man flew from Whangārei to Wellington on a commercial flight on Saturday.

He spent the night in a hotel near Wellington airport before flying to Queenstown on Sunday morning.

He isolates himself in Queenstown.

Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult said it was a wake-up call for locals and a stark reminder to residents that they are far from immune to potential exposure.

He is urging them to get vaccinated.

Offer to attract workers to vineyards

Efforts to try to recruit New Zealanders to work in vineyards for the 2022 harvest are already increasing as winemakers look to face a labor shortage.

The challenge of finding qualified staff has been intensified by Covid-19 border restrictions, with fewer foreign workers in the country.

In Marlborough, New Zealand’s wine growing region, it is estimated that around 1,200 people are needed to harvest the 2022 harvest, which usually gets underway in early March.

Marisco Vineyards CEO Matt Mitchell said he had started searching for winemakers, wine press operators, flotation technicians and forklift drivers more than four months in advance.

He said there would be a lot of effort to train people who were new to the industry this season.

Wine Marlborough Marcus Pickens said some industry-wide pull campaigns were being planned, but individual wine companies were also working harder than ever to fill the gap.

generic vineyard winery

In Marlborough, New Zealand’s wine growing region, an estimated 1,200 people are needed to harvest the 2022 crop. (File photo)
Photo: 123RF

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