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Sunday, November 28, 2021

New Zealand records 215 COVID-19 cases, one death

New Zealand’s COVID-19 outbreak may be plateauing as health officials confirmed another 215 community cases, as well as a fresh death.

A patient aged in their 50s admitted to Auckland’s Manukau hospital last week became the 41st person to die in NZ with COVID-19.

Tuesday’s case count is the country’s second-highest of the pandemic, but the seven-day rolling daily case average is 185, below the peak of 194 registered last week.

COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed a drop in the “R” value, or the effective rate of transmission.

“The latest report that I’ve heard suggests that the R value is trending now down slightly below 1.2, which is positive,” he said.

“The daily case numbers certainly seem to be reasonably stable at the moment. The rate of hospitalisation rate, of ICU bed occupancy etc, seems relatively stable. So those are encouraging.

“But of course, we’re about to enter into a new phase where there’s an increased level of risk is more things open up.”

There are 88 Kiwis in hospital, down from a peak of 94, including six in intensive care.

The outbreak remains centred on Auckland, home to 196 of the 215 community cases reported on Tuesday.

Other cases were identified in the Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty, the Lakes district and MidCentral health districts.

The government is bracing for further cases outside Auckland from next month, when it removes the border around NZ’s biggest city and allows Kiwis to travel for Christmas.

Vaccine rates are roughly comparable to Australia.

As of Monday, 84 per cent of Kiwis aged over 12 are fully vaccinated, with 91 per cent at least partially vaccinated. 

The Delta outbreak, which arrived from NSW in August, is responsible for more than three-quarters of the country’s cases during the pandemic.


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