Covid-19 hospitalisations have fallen for two consecutive days and the average number of new cases has been relatively stable for two weeks, but epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker says infection rates around the country will continue to go up and down.

Counties Manukau Health says it has enacted special escalation plans, including cancelling elective surgery, to deal with a surge in patients visiting Middlemore Hospital's emergency department.Photo: 123RF

Professor Baker told RNZ it was unlikely there will ever be a stable rate with a virus of this kind.

“Almost one in a thousand people getting this infection are dying from it. So that is obviously going to be really tough. If we level out at maybe 15,000, and that’s not counting all of them, then we will continue to see 10-15 deaths per day for months,” he said.

It all comes down to the different factors driving transmission.

Baker expects numbers to continue to creep up with the advent of winter coinciding with fewer controls and waning immunity.

Average number of cases falls for two consecutive days

Yesterday, there were 7347 new cases of Covid-19 in the community, compared to 8609 cases reported earlier in the week.

However, the seven-day rolling average of community case numbers was 7555 – slightly up from 7540 last week, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.