Saturday, November 27

Covid-19 wrap: 180 cases expected per day, hotel sector wants vaccine mandates

Covid-19 cases hit triple digits for the first time at 102 today, but that could rise to 180 a day in the coming weeks as emergency nurses anticipate a ‘tsunami’ of patients with the virus.

Covid-19 Summary for October 21, 2021

Photo: RNZ, 123rf

By the numbers

Daily Covid-19 cases have reached triple digits for the first time, with 102 community cases today – 94 are in Auckland and eight in Waikato.

And one of the Waikato cases traveled to Hawke’s Bay last week and they were infectious while there.

Of the new community cases today, 40 are unrelated. Currently, there are a total of 199 unrelated cases in the last 14 days.

Chief Health Officer Dr Ashley Bloomfield said in Auckland that the focus was no longer on linking cases, but rather finding contacts of known cases.

On the current trajectory, the country could expect up to 180 cases a day within two to three weeks, he said.

Waikato remains at level 3

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed tonight that alert level three restrictions in parts of Waikato will remain in effect for at least another six days.

He said maintaining the restrictions remains the most prudent course of action. He said the decision will be frustrating for residents, but today’s cases show just how stubborn the delta variant can be.

He said that while the majority of recent Waikato cases are household contacts or people linked to known cases, there is a risk that the virus will spread further.

The ministers will review the alert level settings next Wednesday

Emergency departments foresee a ‘tsunami’ of Covid-19 patients

There are currently 46 people hospitalized with the virus, including seven in intensive care.

An Auckland ER nurse said it was frustrating that DHBs weren’t equipped early enough.

He was concerned about where Covid-19 patients would be placed if the emergency department got too crowded, as they couldn’t go to the hallways like other patients sometimes had to.

“More nurses, more negative pressure wards, more ICU beds … but all of that is going to take time because we are not prepared for this. We have not had the foresight for the future,” he said.

But Australasian College for Emergency Medicine president Dr. John Bonning said that while the sector would not implode, an increase in cases would put a lot of pressure on hospitals and healthcare workers.

The government announced that it would guarantee 300 places a month in MIQ for healthcare workers to enter the country, whether they are returning New Zealanders or doctors and nurses from other countries.

Anti-vaccines that make false vaccination reservations

The anti-vaccine suspects have been making bogus vaccination stocks in one of the least protected areas in the country.

Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners President Sam Murton said there had been a number of false bookings at Tairāwhiti over the past few days, including in the run-up to Super Saturday.

She said an East Coast vaccination center had 90 stocks in just a couple of days.

Only about 74 percent of people in Tairāwhiti have received at least one dose of the vaccine, well below the national average. The rates were 63 percent for Maori.

Only vaccinated guests are allowed

An Auckland city center hotel and restaurant operator has decided that it will only accept guests who are fully vaccinated from November.

The Britomart Hotel, including its Kingi restaurant, is introducing a vaccine mandate before any government license to do so.

The hotel owner also operates The Landing, a luxury vacation rental in the Bay of Islands, which is also part of the Vaccine mandate.

The Aotearoa Hotel Council has formally requested the ministers of tourism and finance to pass legislation to legalize vaccine mandates in the hotel and hotel sectors.

Tomorrow, the government will announce a new system for the future management of Covid-19, which will include specific vaccine coverage goals.

MIQ fault highlighted

The security check failure was due to the escape of a man from a managed isolation facility in Auckland in early September.

The man was able to exit the Novotel Ibis Ellerslie via a fire escape, in part because the CCTV was not working properly.

An investigation also found that a cable was plugged into the wrong port and an operator was not connected, meaning the man was able to slide down the ladder undetected.

The report has made a series of recommendations to improve site security, while developing a risk profile assessment for community cases.

MIQ Joint Chief Brigadier Rose King said work was underway to implement the recommendations.

He said that of the more than 180,000 people who had passed through MIQ since March 2020, 18 had escaped in 13 incidents.

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