Details were revealed on how the health care system will cope with increased demand as new cases hit 71 on Thursday. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson also issued a warning about illegal gatherings at home. Video / NZ Herald
Two of Auckland’s Covid-19 clusters have surpassed 100 cases, making them some of the largest the country has seen since the coronavirus struck in 2020.
One of the clusters on the North Shore has 130 infected people in the median age of 30 to 34 years, and the other is in Manukau Ward, with 100 cases and the same median age.
The Ministry of Health data released to the Herald shows that there are eight active clusters, two contained and two sleeping. Of the eight active substances, only three are linked to the outbreak.
The other five probably have a genomic link, but have not yet been identified.
The clusters are spread across the region with cases in Manukau Ward, Waitakere, Manurewa-Papakura and the North Shore. The median age of all clusters – including recovered, contained and sleeping – reaches only 34, with the youngest infected person being 15.
Seventeen clusters have recovered completely.
Friday morning, the director general of health, dr. Ashley Bloomfield that health officials are no longer focused on identifying where cases were infected, nor are they “obsessed” with case numbers.
Instead, efforts will depend on ensuring that as many people as possible are vaccinated, as this is the key to more freedom in the future.
He acknowledged that some experts – along with many Aucklanders – were concerned about the rising number of cases, but said: “I do not think we should panic”.
One of the experts panicking is Auckland University epidemiologist Rod Jackson.
Jackson said earlier this week that he was “freaking out” at the prospect of Auckland’s Covid-19 outbreak spreading further afield, and that while vaccination is the most effective way to tackle the outbreak, there is no guarantee that the people who need it most will get it.
“The people who are hardest to reach with the vaccine will be easiest for the virus to reach. These are people who live in overcrowded situations, often in poor health, often Covid deniers, they are suspicious of authority so they do not make it believe in people like me even though I do not work for the government. “
Bloomfield hopes the government’s Super Saturday campaign will push vaccination rates higher and tells RNZ that of the 170 people hospitalized in the current Delta outbreak, only three are fully vaccinated.
About 4 percent of the people who caught Covid-19 in the current outbreak are fully vaccinated — highlighting how effective the Pfizer vaccine is in preventing infection and serious illness.
In a push to get as many people vaccinated as possible, the government announced Super Saturday – a day focused on reaching a new record of 100,000 people vaccinated.
To achieve this, there will be a televised ‘Vaxathon’ where celebrities, influencers and healthcare professionals will cross to vaccination clinics across the country and check in with kiwis being immunized.
The highest vaccination New Zealand has achieved in a single day so far is 93,000.