In New Zealand today, 23 new instances of Covid-19 in the community were recorded, more than doubling the number reported yesterday.
There was no media conference today. In a statement, Ministry of Health said some volatility in the case numbers was likely at this stage as “we expect some changes in the numbers as day 5 and day 12 tests for contacts of cases are due, and we do further investigations of any new unlinked cases”.
“This does serve as a strong reminder of the importance of following the Covid-19 alert level rules wherever you are, and to get tested if you have any symptoms or have been at a location of interest at the specified times.”
There were 11 recorded instances in the community yesterday.
All of today’s incidents occurred in Auckland, with 14 of them being epidemiologically linked to previous instances.
There are now 19 persons in the hospital, four of them are in ICU or HDU.
The overall number of patients associated with the community outbreak has now reached 902.
Today, one new case was reported near the border.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been a total of 3534 coronavirus cases in New Zealand.
In other developments, a MIQ employee at the Holiday Inn facility in Auckland tested positive for Covid-19 during routine testing today, and more than a dozen new Covid-19 locations of interest have been added to the list.
As well, epidemiologist Michael Baker has warned that health officials will be reluctant to move Auckland down alert levels next week if the country records many more unexplained cases.
Baker said the case increase today isn’t too much of a concern because the overall trend is still downwards.
But he said officials will be looking out for further unexpected cases.
“That would suggest that there are chains of transmission out there that are still carrying on that we haven’t fully extinguished at alert level four.”
Auckland is doing a remarkable job of stamping out a Delta variant outbreak – but the goal now is to stamp it out as fast as possible, he said.