There are 69 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, and nine further cases of the Omicron variant in international arrivals.

Ōtara testing centre on Wednesday 24 February.(File photo). Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers


In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the total number of cases with the Omicron variant in the country is now at 22. All remain in managed isolation with the exception of one case who has recovered.

Today’s community cases include 59 in Auckland, seven in Waikato, two in Bay of Plenty, and one in Taranaki.

There are 62 cases in hospital today, including 11 in North Shore, 31 in Auckland, 15 in Middlemore, two in Waikato, and three in Tauranga. Seven cases are in ICU or HDU across the country.

Of Waikato’s cases, five are in Te Kūiti, one in Huntly, and one in Tokoroa.

One Western Bay of Plenty cases reported today is linked to previously reported cases, and one is still being investigated for potential links. Both are isolating at home.

Today’s Taranaki case is linked to one in New Plymouth.

In Auckland, health and welfare providers are supporting 1999 people to isolate at home, including 551 cases.

Two Covid-19 cases were identified at the border today, one from Great Britain and another from Ireland. Both travelled via the UAE and tested positive on day one testing after arriving on 17 December.

MidCentral DHB has become the ninth district health board to achieve the 90 percent milestone for its eligible population to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Nelson-Marlborough DHB has just 550 doses to go, as of midnight last night, to hit the same milestone.

For Māori vaccinations, Wairarapa DHB has just 12 doses remaining to reach 90 percent partially vaccinated for its population; Southern DHB has 74 doses, and Waitematā 263 doses.

Yesterday, 784 first Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered, 3360 second doses, 94 third primary doses and 2988 booster doses.

Meanwhile, New South Wales reported 2501 new Covid-19 cases, and a rise in the number of people in hospital to 261, in the 24 hours to Sunday evening.

Te Pūnaha Matatini complex systems researcher Dr Dion O’Neale said a community outbreak of the Omicron variant in New Zealand would probably mirror what has happened in New South Wales. Covid-19 modelling experts warn the highly-transmissible variant poses a serious risk to a largely unrestricted summer.