18 Jul 2022

Covid-19 update: 22 further deaths and 7612 new community cases

1:22 pm on 18 July 2022

Another 22 people with Covid-19 have died and there are 7612 new community cases of the virus, the Ministry of Health says.

Covid-19 antigen tests underway with the buffer solution being dripped into the test area of the results strip

Photo: 123RF

In today's statement, the Ministry of Health said there were also 797 people in hospital with the coronavirus, up from 733 people yesterday, including 20 in ICU. The average age of the people in hospital is 64.

The ministry said it was closely monitoring the continued increase in Covid-19 positive cases and hospitalisations.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 9689.

"The case, death and hospitalisation numbers emphasise the importance of everybody doing the basics well to help prevent infection and serious illness."

On the deaths being reported today, one was from March, two deaths from April, two deaths from May and two deaths from June.

Five of the deaths were from the Auckland region, two were from Waikato, one was from Bay of Plenty, three were from MidCentral, one was from Whanganui, four were from Wellington region and six were from Canterbury/West Coast.

Five were in their 60s, two were in their 70s, seven were in their 80s and eight were aged over 90. Of these people, nine were women and 13 were men.

There were also 363 new Covid-19 cases reported at the border.

There were 22 more deaths and 6223 cases announced yesterday.

From today the access criteria for three antiviral treatments will include people aged 75 years and over and those who have been in intensive care already because of the virus.

Pharmac announced the move last week, with chief medical officer, Dr David Hughes, saying the antivirals, Paxlovid, Lagevrio and Veklury, reduced the risk of severe illness, which would help take the pressure off the health system.

Rising case numbers and the emergence of the subvariant BA.5 are causing pressure for the country's hospitals and GPs.

The change applies to 400,000 people at risk of severe illness from Covid-19.

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