New Zealand: Covid-19

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Live updates: Latest on COVID-19 Omicron outbreak, Parliament protest – Tuesday, March 1

25 minutes ago

Mark Quinlivan

There are reports of large queues for rapid antigen tests, with experts anticipating a tough few weeks for New Zealand’s health system due to high COVID infection rates.

The Ministry of Health announced 14,633 new COVID infections and 344 hospitalised with the disease on Monday.

“I’m not alarmed by what’s happening, it’s what we would have expected but I don’t know how much more [cases] will keep going up – where it will peak,” epidemiologist Sir David Skegg told RNZ’s Morning Report.

“There will be – there already is – considerable pressure on our health system so the next few weeks are going to be very challenging.” 

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield will front a 1pm press conference to provide the latest on the Omicron outbreak.

Meanwhile, anti-mandate protesters at Parliament have had another stand-off with police overnight after their showers were removed. 

Protesters’ cars were damaged in the process and in retaliation, demonstrators slashed the tyres of cop cars parked nearby, police said.

What you need to know:

  • COVID cases in hospital on Monday: total number 344 – 128 are in Middlemore, 100 in Auckland, 53 in North shore, 28 in Waikato, 11 in Tauranga, six in Hutt Valley, five in Northland, four in Canterbury, four in Southern, three in Capital and Coast, one in Taranaki and one in Tairawhiti. Five cases hospitalised were in ICU on Monday.
  • There were 14,633 new COVID-19 infections recorded on Monday. 
  • Location of Monday’s new community cases: 9305 were in Auckland, 1530 in Waikato, 762 in Bay of Plenty, 604 in Capital and Coast, 573 in Canterbury, 372 in Southern, 281 in Hutt Valley, 265 in Lakes, 208 Northland, 178 in Nelson Marlborough, 175 in MidCentral, 138 in Hawke’s Bay, 67 in Taranaki, 60 in Tairāwhiti, 52 in Wairarapa, 30 in Whanganui, 24 in South Canterbury, six unknown and three in West Coast.
  • The Government on Monday agreed to lift all self-isolation requirements for vaccinated travellers entering New Zealand from 11:59pm, Wednesday, March 2.
  • New Zealand is in Omicron phase 3 where only positive cases and household contacts are considered close contacts. 
  • Anti-mandate protests outside Parliament have entered day 22.
  • There were “at least” 17 positive COVID-19 cases among the Wellington protesters, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.

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