16 Jun 2021

Covid-19 update: Two new cases in managed isolation, none in community

2:09 pm on 16 June 2021

There are two new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation facilities in New Zealand today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

Ashley Bloomfield

Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said one of the new cases arrived in the country from the Philippines via Singapore on 2 June and is now in a managed isolation facility in Christchurch. The other case arrived from the USA on 10 June, this case was previously under investigation and has now been confirmed as positive. The person is isolating in Auckland.

There are no new community cases.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is two.

Since 1 January 2021, there have been 76 historical cases, out of a total of 539 cases, as one previously confirmed case has now been classified as historical.

The ministry said the number of previously reported cases that have now recovered is two. The total number of active cases in New Zealand today is 23.

It said the two people with Covid-19 in Middlemore Hospital were both still in a stable condition.

Yesterday, there were 5474 Covid-19 tests processed.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,205,616.

In the 1pm Covid-19 press conference this afternoon, Dr Bloomfield gave an update on vaccination numbers.

He said "as of midnight last night we had delivered 891,702, that's an increase on more than 116,000 doses last week".

More than 324,000 people now have a second dose and are fully vaccinated - about 6 percent of the total population.

About 17 percent of the total New Zealand population have had one or two doses of the vaccine.

"Yesterday more than 21,700 doses were administered nationally and we remain about 7.5 percent ahead of plan."

He said eight community centres in the Auckland metropolitan region were now live, and four new centres were expected to open at the end of June.

Also, 21 GPs had joined the programme, an average of 10 new practices will start vaccinating each week.

He said now was a good time to "update your contact details with your GP or healthcare provider".

Tomorrow the prime minister will detail how the vaccine rollout and the booking system will work for those in group 4, Bloomfield said.

"As of midnight last night 7666 vaccinators have completed the online training, and of those just over 3000 have been active in the programme."

According to the willingness to be vaccinated survey, "there's an increasing level of willingness".

"Our latest research report shows 80 percent of those aged 16 years and over say they are likely to get a vaccine or have already been vaccinated."

That's up from 69 percent in March and 77 percent in April.

He said numbers also showed more Māori were willing to be vaccinated - an increase to 75 percent from 71 percent, and for the Pasifika it remained steady, about 78 percent.

He said a core group of about 12 percent said there were unlikely to get vaccinated.

About 8 percent said they are unsure, Bloomfield said.

"We have no intention to make people take up the vaccine ... it is not mandatory."

"The aim is to vaccinate as many eligible New Zealanders as possible and of course our intention is to do that before the end of the year."

Bloomfield said no DHBs had scaled back on the vaccine rollout programme yet.

"We will be vaccinating probably over 110,000 people every week."

He said in the future it might be "hard for people to travel abroad unless they are vaccinated".

"We're thinking seriously about what our requirements will be for people at least in the medium term to travel to New Zealand and the expectations around pre-departure testing, vaccination, and to be able to prove vaccination and other measures once people arrive here. I'm confident many other countries will have similar requirements."

  • In group 1, about 54,000 have had their first dose and nearly 48,000 are fully vaccinated
  • In group 2, 333,000 have had the first dose and 238,000 are fully vaccinated
  • In group 3, about 145,000 have had the first dose and 34,000 are fully vaccinated
  • In group 4, about 35,000 have had the first dose and 4500 are fully vaccinated

At the height of vaccine delivery, the country would need 2500 vaccinators at any point in time, Bloomfield said.

"We aim to do a three or four to one ... we're well on track to do that."

On the quarantine-free travel pause with Victoria, the ministry said it continues until tomorrow but the pause will be reviewed again today. An update will be provided this afternoon, it said.

Bloomfield said there were five cases reported in Victoria overnight.

"All of these are linked to the existing outbreak," he said.

He said WHO numbers showed there was a drop in cases globally.

"We're seeing WHO reporting that new global Covid-19 cases have actually fallen steadily over the last seven weeks. The average daily case numbers is now globally around half of what they were at the peak in April this year which was around 820,000 cases a day in April - that's the longest period of a fallen number since the pandemic began."

In the UK, he said despite their good vaccination rates there was an "upswing in numbers ... up to 7000 a day".

To put that in context that would be equivalent to about 600 cases a day in New Zealand.

"We do know in the UK that most of their cases are now the Delta variant which was first identified in India," Bloomfield said.

Earlier today, a South Auckland GP said pensioners needed to step up and do their bit for the community by getting immunised.

Fewer than half of South Auckland pensioners have had a shot despite being prioritised to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations early.

The government's roll-out scheme put around 70,000 South Aucklanders over-65 in priority group two because the area is high risk. That includes a high proportion of Māori and Pasifika people. However, so far just 30,000 had received their vaccine.

South Auckland GP Api Talemaitoga is part of the Ministry of Health Covid-19 Pacific Response team and he told Morning Report he would have liked the number to be higher.