New Zealand reports 6,137 new community cases of COVID-19

New Zealand reports 6,137 new community cases of COVID-19

New Zealand reports 6,137 new community cases of COVID-19
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WELLINGTON – New Zealand recorded 6,137 new community cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

More than half of the infections were reported in the largest city Auckland. In addition, eight new cases were detected at the New Zealand border.

Currently 205 COVID-19 patients are being treated in New Zealand hospitals, with two of them in the intensive care unit.

New Zealand has reported 42,469 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, including 27,611 active community cases which have been identified in the past 21 days and not yet classified as recovered, the ministry said.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the country will move to the next phase of the government’s Omicron response from Friday.

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“With daily case numbers in the thousands and forecast to rise sharply during the next few weeks, now is the time to implement the next stage in our plan that will keep New Zealand going throughout the Omicron peak,” Hipkins said.

These changes will ease some of the pressure on the country’s testing and contact tracing services over the next three to six weeks, while helping to ensure critical services and supply chains remain operational and the economy keeps moving.

Read more: New Zealand reports 3,297 new community cases of COVID-19

“From now on the number of hospitalizations will replace case numbers as our key metric,” he said.

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From midnight Tuesday, close contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate. Only confirmed cases and household contacts of a confirmed case will be required to self-isolate for 10 days.

Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will become the primary form of testing, as New Zealanders can now access a RAT from hundreds of locations around the country.

The country is at the highest Red settings under its COVID-19 Protection Framework. At Red settings, face masks become mandatory in many indoor environments and gatherings are limited to 100 people.

 

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