Hospitalisation expected to increase as Omicron affects more New Zealanders

(AFP Photo Via RNZ)

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Wellington, March 2, 2022

New Zealand recorded 22,152 new community cases of Covid-19 yesterday (March 1, 2022), with 405 people in hospital, and ten of them in intensive care.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said that there are more than 120,000 active cases with the Virus and that the key metric now is people requiring hospitalisation.

“New Zealand continues to experience fewer people in hospital compared to other countries. This is because of a high rate of vaccination compared to other countries,” he said.

According to him, 86% of the eligible population aged 5+ has now received at least one dose, with 80% fully vaccinated. As of midnight on March 1, 2022, about 2,4000 people had received a booster, accounting for about 79% of the eligible population. About 243,245 children have received a paediatric dose, accounting for about 51% of the population.

Vaccination makes a difference

Mr Hipkins said that the high rates of Vaccination are making a difference and urged unvaccinated eligible people to take up the opportunity.

“We have 80.8% of ICU or high-dependency unit beds in use, 64.5% of ward beds occupied, and 13.9% of ventilators in use. Covid-19 only makes up a very small fraction of those numbers and so there is still capacity there to respond to increasing case numbers,” he said.

He said that there has been an increase in demand for ambulance and health-line services from people who have relatively mild symptoms and appealed to people with mild symptoms to stay and home and recover.

However, people who find their symptoms are getting worse should ask for help, and those in a medical emergency should call 111.

Data Modeller Michael Plank said that hospitalisations due to Covid-19 are expected to top 800 within a week if numbers kept rising at the current rate.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield apologies for the delays to people receiving PCR test results in the past week, saying that a backlog from last Wednesday just beginning to clear.

Opposition parties criticised him saying that he misled the public.

ACT Party Leader David Seymour said he should be removed.

Source: Radio New Zealand

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