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Thursday: 639 people in hospital, 13 deaths

Apr 07, 2022

There have been 11,634 new community cases of Covid-19 reported today, with 13 further deaths and 639 people in hospital.

The number of hospitalisations has dropped from 654 yesterday, but the number of people of people in intensive care has grown by six to 29 today.

Three of today's 13 new deaths were people in the 30s, the Ministry of Health has confirmed. The others include two in their 50s, two in their 60s, four in their 70s, one in their 80s, and one over 90. Seven were women and six were men.

Three people were from Northland, one from Auckland, two from Waikato, one from Bay of Plenty, one from Whanganui, two from West Coast, and three from Southern.

The deaths being reported today include people who have died over the past 10 days. The death toll of people with Covid-19 in New Zealand is now 456.

Today's seven-day average of new community cases is 11,791, down from 14,515 last week.

Today's community cases were reported in the Northland (549), Auckland (2179), Waikato (1030), Bay of Plenty (553), Lakes (266), Hawke's Bay (480), MidCentral (630), Whanganui (296), Taranaki (402), Tairāwhiti (149), Wairarapa (98), Capital and Coast (782), Hutt Valley (394), Nelson Marlborough (441), Canterbury (1913), South Canterbury (224), Southern (1157) and West Coast (89) DHBs.

Speaking at today's media conference, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said weekly rate of cases fell this past week from 22.5 percent per 1000 people to 18.5 per 1000.

He said the northern region went much higher much earlier than other regions but has since fallen back. Conversely in the Southern region cases only started to decline in the final week of March, and during the last risk assessment were still rising in Southern, and just reaching a peak in Midland.

Hospitalisations in the northern region - Auckland plus Northland - are declining but quite slowly still, he said. Hospitalised cases peaked on 29 March at 842, down now to 639. About 30 to 40 percent are believed to be incidental - not in hospital specifically because of Covid-19 - but cases in hospital remain high.

He said new hospitalisations each day was tracking down.

He said a new survey showed 76 percent of people say they would stay home if feeling unwell, up 3 percent since January, while 76 percent would also stay home if they had symptoms or were waiting for a test result.

About three quarters of people are using face masks in shops and public transport, the survey found.

He says the areas where people are less willing to comply is in two areas where they no longer need to - but 74 percent are still showing a vaccine pass where it was asked for, even in places where it is no longer necessarily required, while 63 percent were still using the Covid Tracer app.

There were also 51 new cases reported at the border today.

Yesterday 15 further deaths, 654 people in hospital and 12,575 new community cases were reported.

There have now been 740,430 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

A University of Auckland epidemiologist wants pharmacies to do rapid antigen tests to improve the accuracy and better capture the results. There are reports of people who have the virus recording negative RAT results, and Rod Jackson said home testing could miss up to half of positive Covid-19 cases.

A leaked memo from from the Northern Region Health Co-ordination Centre has raised questions over the daily reported case numbers, due to low reporting of RAT results. The memo from March states: "The MoH shared the following with us this week: in the last month we have distributed 50 million RATs into the system and so far less than 1 million results have been reported."

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