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Covid-19 update: 24 further deaths, 7347 new cases



There have been 7347 new cases of Covid-19 in the community and 24 further deaths reported today.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said 363 people were in hospital with Covid-19, down from 386 yesterday, with 18 people in ICU, up from 14 yesterday.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers is 7555 – slightly up from 7540 last week.

The deaths being reported today include people who have died since 6 April and take the total number of deaths of people with Covid-19 in New Zealand to 845.

Two people were in their 40s; one in their 50s, one in their 60s; seven in their 70s; eight in their 80s and five were aged over 90. Thirteen were female and 11 were male.

One person was from Northland, eight from Auckland; four from Waikato; one from Bay of Plenty; one from Lakes DHB area; one from Taranaki; one from MidCentral; two from the Greater Wellington region; two from Canterbury and three from Southern.

Yesterday saw 8609 cases reported in and 20 deaths, including that of a child under the age of 10.

Today’s community cases were reported in the Northland (234), Auckland (2346), Waikato (443), Bay of Plenty (189), Lakes (106), Hawke’s Bay (212), MidCentral (272), Whanganui (83), Taranaki (226), Tairāwhiti (66), Wairarapa (100), Capital and Coast (482), Hutt Valley (185), Nelson Marlborough (254), Canterbury (1261), South Canterbury (99), Southern (721) and West Coast (64) DHBs.

There were also 79 cases reported at the border today.

There have now been 973,797 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) report yesterday revealed that almost three times as many people had died of Covid-19 as official data showed.

The report showed there had been 14.9 million excess deaths associated with the virus by the end of 2021.

This was in stark contrast to the UN body’s official count of deaths directly attributed to Covid-19 between January 2020 and December 2021, which stood at slightly more than 5.4 million.

The WHO’s excess mortality figures reflect people who died of Covid-19 as well as those who died as an indirect result of the outbreak, including people who could not access healthcare for other conditions when systems were overwhelmed during huge waves of infection.

It also accounts for deaths averted during the pandemic, for example because of the lower risk of traffic accidents during lockdowns.



Covid-19 update: 8544 new cases, 39 further deaths linked to virus



There were 8544 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Aotearoa in the week to midnight on Sunday, and a further 39 deaths attributed to the virus.

The total number of deaths attributed to the virus in New Zealand is now 3077.

In addition, there were 246 cases in hospital at midnight on Sunday with six in intensive care.

The seven-day rolling average of cases was 1217.

Last week, 9883 new Covid-19 cases were reported and a further 37 deaths were attributed to the virus.

Source: RNZ

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Dr Jonathan Howard: why US doctors spread Covid disinformation



An American doctor believes more than 800,000 Americans would be alive today, if the US had taken New Zealand’s Covid approach.

Jonathan Howard, who is the chief of neurology at Bellevue Hospital in New York, said he was angry that influential health professionals minimised the seriousness of the virus.

“We want them infected,” was the call of then presidential science adviser Paul Alexander.

It’s also the title of Howard’s new book, which tells the story of how some medical and public health professionals came to become anti-vaccine and pro herd immunity.

He told Kim Hill on Saturday Morning there was a deluge of mis-information from prominent US doctors, some of whom wanted to actually spread the virus.

“Famous doctors from our top universities went on television and told people that Covid was just going away, that it was just the flu, that young people under the age of 65 have essentially no risk,” he said.

“And not only were there not attempts to limit the virus, these were loud influential voices who wanted to spread it.

“You can read quotes from our former Covid advisor, Donald Trump’s former Covid advisor, celebrating rising cases, saying this is a good thing when cases rise, which is shocking and astonishing.”

While Howard said there were obvious differences between the two countries, many lives could have been saved if the US had taken a similar approach to New Zealand.

“If we had limited infections until we had vaccinated the vast majority of our population, we would have potentially had hundreds of thousands of people still alive today, there’s no question about that.”

However, our zero-Covid strategy wasn’t without its critics, with Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya writing that it had “cost New Zealand dearly”.

“I think that the fact that most of your grandparents are still alive means that zero Covid did not cost you dearly,” Howard said in response.

“I don’t discount that, there were real costs of the lockdowns, I don’t know anyone who argues otherwise and I want to be very clear that I was protected from those costs, meaning I am very fortunate to be employed, I worked throughout the pandemic, I was never lonely, I don’t have my own business.”

But Howard said he didn’t think that the alternative – letting the virus spread freely – would have yielded a better outcome.

He said that when forklifts were needed to move bodies into giant refrigerated trucks in New York, it was fantasy to imagine the city could have operated as normal during the pandemic.

“You talk about deferred healthcare – every single healthcare worker was working with Covid patients, our hospitals were overflowing,” he said.

“So when I hear people lament they missed cancer screenings, who would have done those screenings? Would elderly patients have left their house to go to crowded waiting rooms to get a mammogram for example? I don’t think so.

“I think that the fantasy is that things could have just been normal if only if it hadn’t been for overly cautious politicians.”

By comparison, New Zealand did well, Howard said.

“I look at the numbers, I look at your death rate with great jealousy.” he said.

“And I think for long periods of time your economy was more open than ours was because we had to keep locking down, just because there were overwhelming outbreaks of the virus.”

Howard said the fact many older New Zealanders were still alive compared with the US statistics, showed the success of this country’s Covid strategy.

Source  RNZ

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Covid-19 case numbers: 11,739 new cases, 58 further deaths



There were 11,739 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Aotearoa in the week to midnight on Sunday, and a further 58 deaths attributed to the virus.

The total number of deaths from the disease is now 2850.

In addition, there were 247 cases in hospital at midnight Sunday, with six in intensive care.

The seven-day rolling average of cases was 1672.

Last week 12,277 new cases were reported and a further 30 deaths attributed to the virus.


Source RNZ

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