Omicron outbreak has likely peaked in Cook Islands

File photo.

The Omicron outbreak of Covid-19 cases has peaked in the Cook Islands, experts say. Prime Minister Mark Brown​ made the announcement on Good Friday.

In his nationwide address Brown ​says the Cook Islands’ health ministry, Te Marae Ora ​(TMO) had advised him the country's Omicron wave has likely peaked, and daily cases numbers were expected to start decreasing.

“Although there may still be occasional mini outbreaks amongst households who have so far managed to avoid Omicron altogether,” says Brown.

After being Covid-19 free for two years, the Cook Islands detected its first community case in February, through a traveller from New Zealand.

The country has recorded a total of 3788 cases to date. Of those cases, 606 cases are still active, with 3182 recovered and released from isolation.

Brown says no-one had required hospital treatment so far, with only mild symptoms of the virus displayed or none at all.

"This lack of serious cases can be attributed to our extremely high vaccination rates, and for this we should congratulate ourselves on a job well done,” says Brown.

Ninety-eight per cent of eligible Cook Islanders aged 12 and up are fully vaccinated, and 80 per cent of those in the 5 – 11 age groups.

Brown says Rarotonga’s active cases numbers were already down from last week, and restrictions were set to ease.

Vaccination rates
As of April 13, more than 2.6 million booster shots had been given across New Zealand.

Of the eligible people aged 12 and over, 96.4 per cent have had their first dose, 95.2 per cent their second, and 72.6 per cent have had their booster.

For Māori, aged 12+, 91.1 per cent have had their first dose, 88.2 per cent their second and 57.2 per cent the booster.

For Pacific peoples, aged 12+, 98.3 per cent had their first dose, 96.5 per cent their second and 59.3 per cent their booster.

Global toll
Data from Johns Hopkins University shows more than 503 million people have been infected with Sars-CoV-2, and more than 6.1 million have died.

Vaccination efforts are continuing with more than 11.1 billion doses administered around the world.

The United States continues to record the most cases and fatalities - more than 80 million cases and 988,469 deaths.
What should I do?
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.

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