Wellington : New Zealand reported 185 new Delta variant cases of Covid-19 in the community on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country’s community outbreak to 4,998.
Among the new infections, 152 were recorded in the largest city of Auckland, 25 in nearby Waikato and eight in Northland, according to the Ministry of Health.
A total of 84 cases are being treated in hospitals, including 10 in intensive care units or high dependency units.
There are 3,960 cases that have been clearly epidemiologically linked to another case or a sub-cluster, and a further 713 cases for which links are yet to be fully established, according to the ministry.
New Zealand reported no new cases identified at the border among recent returnees.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in New Zealand stands at 7,746 currently, according to the ministry.
There were 22,007 Covid-19 vaccine doses administered on Wednesday, made up of 6,045 first doses and 15,962 second doses.
Wednesday’s vaccination figures showed that 90 percent of New Zealanders aged over 12 years have now had their first dose and 80 percent are fully vaccinated. These are rounded percentages, and the government expects to officially pass the 90 percent mark in the coming days – with just 15,083 additional doses required to reach this milestone, said a ministry statement.
The country’s goal is to reach the threshold of 90 percent of people who have had their first dose before the government starts further lowering alert levels and adopting the new “traffic light” alert system.
On Wednesday, Auckland opened shops and allowed outdoor gatherings up to 25 people in further easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
The city moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 – step 2 on Tuesday night. The transition phase sees the outdoor gathering limit increased from 10 to 25 people and reopening of public facilities with face coverings, record keeping and distancing requirements in place.