13 Dec 2022

Reported Covid-19 cases top 8000 today for first time in country's third wave

3:01 pm on 13 December 2022
Collage of Covid molecules and sunbathers on beach

It is the first time reported Covid cases have topped 8000 during the country's third wave. Photo: 123rf.com - RNZ / Composite Image - RNZ

Daily Covid-19 numbers are the highest they have been for four and a half months, at 8428.

It is the first time the reported cases have breached 8000 in the country's third wave.

The Ministry of Health said the virus was also increasing in wastewater and only about 44 percent of actual cases were being reported.

The wave would likely keep rising but a peak was difficult to predict because there were several variants in the community, and it was not known how much of a role previous infection was having on immunity, the ministry said.

The greater Wellington region had the highest rate of reported infection at 205 per 100,000 people, with Nelson Marlborough the lowest at 110.

Last week, there were 589 people hospitalised - a jump of 142 on the week before.

The number of people dying from, or with, the virus had declined slightly.

Death and hospitalisation rates tended to lag slightly behind the trend for community cases.

This week's Covid Insights report from the ministry did not have an update on the variant mix, but the last reported figures showed BA.5, which had dominated for months, now made up fewer than half of all cases.

The rest were a mix of five other variants.

Tuesdays usually had the highest cases numbers of the week, because of a lag in weekend reporting.

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