Sat, 21 May 2022

WELLINGTON, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand reported 39 new cases of COVID-19 in the community on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country's current community outbreak to 11,399.

Among the new infections, 21 were recorded in the largest city of Auckland, 14 in the Lakes region, two in Hawke's Bay, one in Canterbury and one in West Coast, according to the country's Ministry of Health.

A total of 21 cases are being treated in hospitals, including one in intensive care unit or high dependency unit, a ministry statement said.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand stands at 14,959 currently, according to the health ministry.

The ministry reported one new possible Omicron case in Palmerston North. This case was in a managed isolation and quarantine facility in Christchurch and tested negative on day 9, before being released on Jan. 16, after returning a negative test result on five occasions throughout their stay.

However, the case became symptomatic on Wednesday and tested positive.

This case, quarantined in a managed isolation facility with other previous Omicron cases, is being treated as an Omicron case. Investigations are underway to determine the source of infection, including possible in-facility transmission.

The case, who has had two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, is now isolated at home with their family, said the ministry.

Meanwhile, there are now three confirmed Omicron cases in the Auckland region, including a managed isolation facility border worker and their household contact, and a worker at Auckland Airport, it said.

To date, there have been 440 Omicron COVID-19 cases detected at the border since Dec. 1, and 32 cases of the Delta variant.

To date, about 93 percent of the eligible people in New Zealand are double-dosed or fully vaccinated, said the ministry, adding that from Monday, people over the age of 18 are able to book online to have their booster shot four months after their last vaccine dose.

Nearly 40,000 children aged five to 11 in New Zealand now have greater protection against COVID-19 after starting being vaccinated from Monday, according to the ministry.

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