3693 new cases, 35 Covid-related deaths

Dr Andrew Old, Deputy Director-General and Head of the Public Health Agency, holds a media briefing to provide an update on the COVID-19 response and winter health response.video/offer

3693 new Covid cases were reported today, along with 35 Covid-related deaths, including four people in their 60s.

10 were in their 70s, 13 were in their 80s, and 8 were over 90.

Figures show that weekly deaths from Covid-19 have fallen after peaking last month.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Health show that in the week to August 14, 77 people were reported to have died from the virus. This compares with 105 the previous week.

That number peaked at 142 in the week ended July 31.

Of the 35 deaths today, 6 are from Northland, 6 from Auckland region, 2 from Waikato, 2 from Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Tairāwhiti, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Central and In the Wellington area, two were from Nelson Marlborough, nine were from Canterbury, one was from the West Coast, one was from South Canterbury and one was from the South.

“This is a very sad time for the family and friends of the deceased, and our thoughts and condolences are with them,” the ministry said.

To date, 1841 people in New Zealand have died from Covid-19, either as an underlying cause or a contributing factor.

Over the past seven days, an average of eight people have died from the virus every day.

Covid modelling expert Michael Plank said daily reported Covid deaths averaged around 10, a figure he hoped would drop to single digits within the next month.

“The number of deaths is starting to decline now. Obviously, cases have been falling for a while, and deaths do lag, so they peak after the decline in cases, but now it looks like they’re starting to decline,” Plank said.

Figures today show 402 people are hospitalized and six are in intensive care.

They are located in Northland (7), Waitematā (57), Manukau County (35), Auckland (52), Waikato (66), Bay of Plenty (17), Lakes (9), Ho Cox Bay (16), Central (28), Whanganui (3), Taranaki (12), Wairarapa (6), Capital & Coast (15), Hutt Valley (12), Nelson Marlborough (8), Canterbury (42), West Coast (4), South Canterbury (four) and South (nine).

Today’s rolling average is 3,496 cases, down from 4,073 cases last Tuesday.

For hospitalizations, today’s average is 453, compared to last Tuesday’s average of 556.

Nine Covid deaths were reported yesterday. Four are from Auckland, two are from Waikato, one is from Canterbury and two are from the south.

Dr Dion O’Neale of Covid-19 Modeling Aotearoa warned that the number of community cases – the lowest since the country’s first Omicron wave began in February – needs to be looked at under reporting.

O’Neill said the daily case count of less than 5,000 was “lower than we expected.”

The true number of infections in our community will almost certainly be higher – the numbers reported by the Ministry of Health may be 40% to 65% of cases – and under-reporting appears to be a clear factor in particularly low case counts on some days.

“But after those two peaks, we’ve also had a lot less susceptible people — and now there are fewer infections left.”

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