25 more deaths, 6862 community cases reported in NZ today

Twenty-five people with Covid-19 have died and another 6862 community cases have been notified, the Ministry of Health says.

In its latest update, the Ministry said in a statement that 350 people with the virus were in hospital, including 10 in intensive care. This compared with 355 hospital cases and 12 in ICU yesterday.

One of the 25 new deaths reported today was a person aged in the 30s, with three people in their 40s. There were also four people in the 50s, two in their 60s, four in their 70s, six in their 80s and five aged over 90.

The Ministry said 13 were female and 11 were male. The gender of one person was not reported. Five were from the Auckland region, three were from Northland, one was from Waikato, one was from Hawkes Bay, nine were from Canterbury, two were from the Wellington region, one was from Midcentral, one was from Bay of Plenty, and two were from Southern.

The total number of deaths of people with Covid-19 in New Zealand is now 1127.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 6960, compared to 8032 last Friday.

There were also 90 new cases identified at the border.

New Zealand has now recorded a total of 1,131,801 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

In other Covid-19 related developments today, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield has tested positive for Covid-19 while attending the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

The ministry said he was experiencing mild symptoms and will return to New Zealand later than planned.

As well, the government announced that a second booster dose will be made available to at-risk people.

In a statement, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed people would be able to get their second booster dose six months after their first with most qualifying from July onwards.

He said this fourth dose would cover several hundred thousand people in vulnerable groups, including elderly, aged care residents, those in disability care facilities and severely immuno-compromised people. The last group will also be eligible for a fifth vaccination, Hipkins said.