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Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Health officials to provide update on the pandemic as winter illness season comes to an end

Dr Andrew Old, Deputy-Director General and head of the Public Health Agency, is joined by Dr Anthony Jordan, Clinical Director for the...

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Dr Andrew Old, Deputy-Director General and head of the Public Health Agency, is joined by Dr Anthony Jordan, Clinical Director for the Northern Region Vaccination Programme, Te Whatu Ora to provide an update on COVID-19 response. Video / Supplied

Health officials will today provide an update on the country’s Covid-19 response as the winter illness season comes to an end.

Head of the Public Health Agency Dr Andrew Old will hold a press conference at midday in Auckland.

He will be joined by Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand’s clinical director for the Northern Region Vaccination Programme Dr Anthony Jordan.

In the week between September 12 and September 18 there were 9606 new cases of Covid-19 reported in the community.

On average, there were 1369 new cases each day.

There were 175 people in hospital with the virus, including two in intensive care.

The seven-day rolling average of deaths attributed to Covid-19 was three and in total 1972 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic are attributed to the virus.

Figures show the community case numbers dropped significantly over the weekend.

On Saturday there were 885 new cases and on Sunday there were 1023. On Monday the figure jumped to 1820.

Last week the Ministry of Health announced it was changing the way it reported Covid-19 figures.

It moved away from daily updates and is now providing weekly updates, the first one being on Monday.

The weekly updates include seven-day averages for case numbers, deaths and hospitalisations.

Meanwhile, the Government admitted policies to support people with long Covid in their homes remains under development more than two years since the pandemic began.

This comes as it was revealed that a young Dunedin solo parent has been left barely able to stand and crawling round the house due to fatigue and dizziness from long Covid.

Ministry of Health long Covid expert advisory group chairman, chief allied health professions officer Dr Martin Chadwick said there needed to be a holistic approach to treatment options for long Covid as each person will present with a range of symptoms.

“Support could include also energy conservation and fatigue management, confidence building, muscle strengthening, anxiety management, nutritional advice, speech and swallowing advice, breathing re-education, assessment for aids and adaptations and activities to support individuals to regain function.”

On Thursday the ministry released long Covid guidelines for health professionals, individuals and those caring for people with long Covid.

The guidelines look at the options for care available to people with the condition and what resources are available to people to manage those symptoms.

Long Covid is a wide range of lingering symptoms that can include debilitating fatigue and aches to brain fog and depression in perhaps one in 10 Covid infections.

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