27 Jan 2022

Covid-19: Michael Baker on expected Omicron numbers

From Morning Report, 7:40 am on 27 January 2022

A top epidemiologist thinks New Zealand could see a better Omicron scenario than what a highly respected overseas health research organisation is modelling. 

New Zealand could be facing 50,000 daily Omicron infections by Waitangi weekend, peaking at about 80,000 each day just a few weeks later.

The figures come from modelling by  overseas health research organisation, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

It predicts an Omicron outbreak here could last three months, with about 10 Covid-related deaths a day by mid March.

Otago University professor Michael Baker, who commented on the research, told Morning Report it doesn't factor in the nuances of New Zealand's Covid-19 response.

Dr Baker said if New Zealand infections match the modelling, he expects it will happen about a week later than expected.