There are 75 new Covid cases and pressure on MIQ extends pause on Kiwis abroad coming home

The number of positive Covid cases in the community has climbed up to 75, putting pressure on MIQ and prompting the Government to extend its pause on booking vouchers.

Of the 75 cases, 74 are in Auckland and one is in Wellington, which is a household contact of a previous case.

Director-General of Health Doctor Ashley Bloomfield says this positive case in Wellington had previously returned two negative tests and remains asymptomatic.

Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins says because of the domestic pressure on MIQ spaces, and the Crowne Plaza facility being out of action while checks are done on its safety, there will be no new vouchers for Kiwis abroad to book a space.

He says there will be more vouchers available later this year but for now the pause is extended.

The number of positive cases has climbed up after just 49 were recorded on Tuesday.

“The latest bounce in numbers is not unexpected, we did see this last April. On average the daily case numbers are lower than the peak, but of course we will be watching closely,” Hipkins said.

Of the 49 cases reported yesterday, 25 percent were infectious in the community before they were diagnosed.

The ‘R’ value – the number of people a positive case infects – continues to remain under 1.

Bloomfield says that is “promising and indicates the number of cases will continue to decline and we are successfully breaking the chain of transmission”.

Of the 49 cases reported yesterday, 57 percent were household contacts and 75 percent didn’t create any new exposure events as they have been in Level 4 lockdown.

Currently there are 32 people in hospital as a result of the latest Covid outbreak. Eight of those are in ICU and three are currently ventilated.

Bloomfield announced on Wednesday that another 40 supermarkets are being added to locations of interest.

They’re supermarkets that were visited by people who were subsequently identified as a case.

“The events are deemed low-risk, but people should look out and if anyone has been in any of these locations the advice is to be careful and watch for symptoms if they were there at a time and place indicated on the website.”

Jo Moir is Newsroom's political editor.

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