The Ministry of Health has reported 20,522 new Covid-19 cases across New Zealand in the past week – up from 16,399 last week. It is also reporting 11 deaths attributed to Covid-19, while there are 323 cases in the hospital as of midnight Sunday.
The rolling seven-day average has climbed to 2926.
The increase in hospitalisations is higher than previously modelled and is likely being driven partly by new Omicron subvariants, the ministry said. In addition, waning protection from vaccination and boosters, as well as changes in Kiwis’ behaviour, were likely contributing factors.
The ministry said there had been an increase to about 56 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending October 30. That’s a jump of about 25 percent from the previous week.
Unlike previous waves, which were driven by one variant or subvariant, this latest increase has seen a variant alphabet “soup” emerge.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is tracking more than 300 Omicron sublineages (or subvariants) worldwide. All Omicron subvariants were showing “increased transmissibility and properties of immune escape”, WHO Covid-19 technical lead Dr Maria Van Kerkhove said recently.