The Covid-19 death toll in New Zealand is now sitting at 141 following the announcement of 24 deaths today.
In today’s daily update, the Ministry of Health announced 19,542 new community cases as well as the additional deaths.
“Among the 24 deaths reported today are eight people whom we know died at aged residential care facilities,” says a Ministry of Health spokesperson.
Local public health authorities have notified these deaths to the Ministry in the past 24 hours as part of changes to the reporting of deaths announced last week.
The Ministry says delays to reporting can be associated with people dying with, rather than of Covid-19, and Covid being discovered after they have died.
“At this point in the outbreak, we are seeing increasing numbers of people dying with Omicron. Sadly, this trend is not unexpected, and our thoughts are with the families of these people.
“As has occurred with Omicron overseas, while Covid-19 cases are usually seen in higher numbers among younger people early in the outbreak, over time the more severe and fatal consequences of the virus fall disproportionately on our older and more vulnerable populations.
“The average stay in hospital for Covid-19 patients in the Northern region is lengthening, and the average age increasing.
“This indicates those being admitted are more likely to be vulnerable because of their older age and pre-existing non-Covid health conditions.”
In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health says they have taken significant steps to limit the spread of Covid-19 in aged care facilities, such as pausing or limiting visitors, strong infection prevention and control measures, and limiting the rotation of staff among facilities.
“One of the best things everyone can do to protect older and more vulnerable people, including family and loved ones, is to get vaccinated and get boosted.”