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Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: 9307 new cases today, 22 deaths, glitch with numbers of deaths

Yesterday, a computer glitch meant Covid-19 case numbers were overcounted by thousands. Photo / Michael Craig There are 9307 new community cases...

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Yesterday, a computer glitch meant Covid-19 case numbers were overcounted by thousands. Photo / Michael Craig

There are 9307 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today and a further 22 Covid-related deaths.

There are 570 people in hospital with the virus, including nine in intensive care.

The figures have been revealed by the Ministry of Health, which said the latest numbers meant the country’s seven-day rolling average of community case numbers was 8690.

The ministry also said because of a “coding error”, yesterday’s death toll was overstated by 10.

Of the positive cases confirmed today, 251 people had recently travelled overseas.

“We are continuing to keep our response to the current community outbreak of Covid-19 under review and will adapt it as the outbreak and pandemic evolve, and as part of our resurgence planning,” the ministry said.

Today’s reported deaths take the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 1663.

The seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 16.

Of the people whose deaths have been confirmed today, six were from the Auckland region, four from Waikato, one from Bay of Plenty, one from Lakes, one from Hawke’s Bay, one from MidCentral, two from the Wellington region, four from Canterbury/West Coast, and two were from Southern.

“One was under the age of 10, three were in their 50s, three were in their 60s, five were in their 70s, seven were in their 80s, and three were aged over 90,” the ministry said.

“Of these people, eight were female and 14 were male.”

The total number of active cases of Covid-19 (cases which the ministry had identified in the past seven days and not yet classified as recovered) is 60,790.

There are also 570 people in hospital with Covid-19.

That includes nine people who are receiving intensive care or high dependency unit care.

Of the cases in hospital, 11 were in Northland, 124 in Waitematā, 39 in Counties Manukau, 56 in Auckland, 57 in Waikato, 29 in Bay of Plenty, 14 in Lakes, 20 in Hawke’s Bay, 20 in MidCentral, six in Whanganui, 12 in Taranaki, three in Tairawhiti, six in Wairarapa, 59 in Capital and Coast and Hutt Valley, 13 in Nelson Marlborough, 62 in Canterbury and West Coast, 18 in South Canterbury, and 21 in Southern.

The ministry has also issued health advice to parents and caregivers as children settle into the school holidays.

“As every parent well knows, winter means cold weather but also more days indoors where our tamariki can more easily pick up and pass on germs, colds and flu,” the ministry said.

“It’s normal for children to have eight to 10 viral illnesses each year, which will likely include coughs, runny noses and intermittent fevers. But with so many respiratory illnesses circulating, the ministry is encouraging New Zealanders to pay extra attention to their children’s health, and their own, over the coldest months of the year. “

Wellness tips include:

• When children are unwell, keep them at home to give them the best chance to rest and recover, and reduce the spread of infections on to others.

• If children have Covid-19 symptoms like a fever, cough, sore throat and headache – rapid antigen test them.

• Encourage good hygiene: help them to wash their hands regularly and show them how to sneeze or cough into their elbow or a tissue. This will help stop the spread of germs.

• A sick child who is still eating and drinking well can be watched at home until they’re feeling better.

• Tamariki between the ages of 3 and 12 are now eligible for, and are encouraged to get, a free flu vaccination. People eligible for a free flu jab can contact their GP, usual healthcare provider or local pharmacy to make a booking. Bookings are available at Healthpoint.

• To help avoid serious illness, ensure children are up to date with their vaccinations like measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); flu; chicken pox; whooping cough; and for over 5-year-olds, their Covid-19 vaccine.

• Ventilate your home by opening windows and doors throughout the day to increase fresh air flow.

• Provide children with healthy food and fresh water to help maintain good health and wellbeing.

• Encourage them to be active, especially outside, to help maintain good health and wellbeing.

• Encourage children to wear a mask if they are old enough.

• Finally, support children to get enough sleep.

“Following these tips … can help us all fight off seasonal illnesses and get through the next few months in good shape.”

Yesterday, a computer glitch caused case numbers to be overcounted by more than 4000.

The Ministry of Health had announced there were 13,334 new positive infections, but revealed last night that total was 4206 cases too high after it discovered a computer glitch had altered the figures.

“The correct figure is 9318, which is around the same level as case numbers reported for the past three days,” the ministry’s website read.

“A corrected statement is being published on the ministry website and updated case figures for individual districts are also being published now.”

The number of imported cases – people who had recently travelled overseas – was also affected by the glitch, the correct figure being 275 instead of the 390 incorrectly published.

The ministry website said the computer glitch had been corrected.

A similar glitch last month forced the ministry to apologise to 6000 people after it incorrectly notified them they had tested positive and needed to isolate.

The message was sent to people who had tested positive for the virus in the past 10 days, meaning the text was a duplicate of advice they had already received.

Text messages were sent to all those affected to clarify the error, apologise and provide a phone number should people require further information or support.

The ministry reported 23 Covid-related deaths yesterday before issuing the correction today.

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