COVID-19: 49 deaths, 663 people in hospital, 6152 new community cases

  • 04/08/2022

There are 6152 new community cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and a further 49 COVID-related deaths, the Ministry of Health has revealed.

The MoH said 663 people remained in hospital with the virus, 14 of whom were in intensive care.

Dr Andrew Old, head of the Public Health Agency, said COVID-19 case rates are starting to trend down, dropping 18 percent in the past week, while proving an update on New Zealand's response to the virus. 

Old stressed that hospitals remain under "significant pressure from COVID-19", but in a positive sign, the latest modelling showed New Zealand is tracking at the lower end of BA5 for winter.

Old said from 8 August, 230,000 people who used health services in 2021 will be formally added to Health Service User data set used to count vaccinations. Replacing 2020 data set with the up-to-date one.

The new data set will remove the age at vaccination to the current age, while also removing the term "fully vaccinated" from a person's vaccination status to "completed primary course". 

A person will now be considered "up to date" if they have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccinations.

Monkeypox update 

The Ministry of Health announced the third case of monkeypox in New Zealand on Tuesday.

Dr Nick Chamberlain, National Director of Te Whatu Ora said the first two cases have now fully recovered. 

He said there is no evidence of community transmission from any of the three cases.

The latest stats from the University of Oxford showed there are more than 23,000 cases in 78 countries. 

Chamberlain urged Kiwis travelling overseas to take caution, particularly practising safe sex.

There is currently a global shortage in monkeypox vaccines as they are only supplied by one company.

New Zealand is working to get access to a monkeypox vaccine but doesn't have any guaranteed supply of vaccines yet because of the shortage, Chamberlain said.   

Chamberlain warned there is likely to be community transmission at some stage in New Zealand. 

"The risk is low but we will continue to see cases and these are likely to be from international travels as is currently the case and at some stage looking at the international experience there will also be community transmission."