Epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker is warning New Zealanders to brace for "collective grief", with as many as 20 Covid deaths a day possible in coming weeks.
His grim warning comes after the deaths of seven people with Covid were reported on Saturday, taking the pandemic toll to 105. There were 853 hospital patients with Covid, 17 in intensive care, and 18,699 new community cases were reported.
Only 540 of the new cases on Saturday were detected through nasal swab testing, while the rest were picked up throug rapid antigen tests (RATs).
With so many people now testing themselves with the RATs, Northern Region Health Coordination Centre nurse leader Sue French has provided a helpful step-by-step demonstration on how to use them properly.
Protesters opposing vaccine mandates caused major traffic congestion in Christchurch on Saturday, when they marched along Riccarton Rd to the Westfield Riccarton Shopping Centre.
With the cost of living skyrocketing alongside the surge in Omicron cases, many Kiwis are saying that the price hikes are now their major concern, ahead of Covid.
Three first-time mothers say midwives have advised them to delay their Covid booster vaccinations until they give birth, but an expert says that could potentially have devastating consequences.
Delivery drivers have become a lifeline for many during the Omicron wave, and the demand is taking its toll on the "exhausted" critical workers.
Ministry of Health data shows that as of 11.59pm on March 11, more than 2.5 million booster shots had been given nationally.
Of the eligible people aged 12 and over, 96 per cent have had their first dose, 94 per cent their second, and 72.7 per cent have had their booster.
For Māori, aged 12+, 91.2 per cent have had their first dose, and 87.9 per cent their second. For Pacific Peoples, aged 12+, 98.2 per cent had their first dose, and 96.2 per cent their second.
Data from Johns Hopkins University shows nearly 455.7 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed worldwide, and nearly 6.04m deaths have been attributed to the virus. Nearly 10.7 billion Covid vaccine doses have been administered.
In the past 28 days, the US recorded 46,879 deaths from Covid and 1.83m cases, Russia had 20,427 deaths and 3.5m cases, while Brazil had 17,376 deaths and 2m cases. South Korean had the most cases during the period, with 4.9m along with 3099 deaths, followed by Germany with 4.8m cases and 5647 deaths.
Anyone who wants to get tested can find their local testing centres by visiting the Ministry of Health website.
Quarantine-free travel from Australia has been suspended.
People should use the Covid-19 tracer app.
If you are sick, call your GP before you visit, or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
To avoid contracting and spreading the virus, wash your hands properly, cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow and throw tissues away immediately.
Reach out, find support from people who care, connect with your community or help a neighbour in need.