20 Jul 2022

Covid-19 update: 744 in hospital, 10,320 new cases and 34 deaths

1:10 pm on 20 July 2022

There are 10,320 new cases of Covid-19 in the community to report today, and 34 deaths with the virus.

Mutating virus variant and cell mutation variants as a health risk concept and new coronavirus outbreak or covid-19 viral cells mutations and influenza background as a 3D render.

Photo: 123RF

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said there were also 744 people in hospital, with 17 in ICU or HDU.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 9367.

Of the deaths being reported today, 12 were from the Auckland region, two were from Waikato, three were from Bay of Plenty, one was from Lakes, one was from Tairawhiti, one was from Hawke's Bay, three were from Taranaki, three were from Whanganui, one was from Wellington region, three were from Nelson Marlborough, one was from Canterbury and three were from Southern.

Two were in their 50s, two were in their 60s, seven were in their 70s, 13 were in their 80s and 10 were aged over 90. Of these people, 17 were women and 17 were men.

That takes the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 1904 and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 24.

There were also 396 new Covid cases at the border.

Cases have been increasing in recent weeks, with New Zealand facing a second wave of Omicron infections as the BA.5 variant gains ascendancy. The strain is better at evading immunity, and promises to increase reinfection rates and increase the burden of long Covid.

The government last week broadened access to antiviral drugs, free masks and free tests in an effort to combat the rising case load, and urged the public to strictly adhere to mask use and other public health measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Hospitals and health centres in Canterbury have been banning visitors not wearing masks, with specialists concerned the public is increasingly growing complacent.

Health leaders yesterday explained mortality rates reporting would change in line with the UK, US and Australia at the request of the World Health Organization.

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