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New Zealand reports 194 new community cases of Covid-19 Delta variant

 
Wellington, Nov 17 (IANS) New Zealand reported 194 new Delta variant cases of Covid-19 in the community on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country's community outbreak to 6,167.

Among the new infections, 180 were recorded in the largest city of Auckland, five in nearby Waikato, three in Northland, and six in the Lakes District Health Board area, according to the Ministry of Health.

There was also a new positive case in Christchurch linked to the Auckland cluster, which will be included in Thursday's tally, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ministry also reported the death of a man in his 60s at Auckland's North Shore Hospital. The man was admitted to hospital on Nov. 4 with Covid-19 symptoms and subsequently tested positive. He died on Tuesday.

A total of 88 cases are being treated in hospitals, including seven in intensive care units or high dependency units, a ministry statement said.

There are 4,783 cases that have been clearly epidemiologically linked to another case or a sub-cluster, and a further 836 cases for which links are yet to be fully established, it said.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in New Zealand stands at 8,923 currently, according to the health ministry.

There were 21,031 vaccine doses administered on Tuesday, made up of 6,664 first doses and 14,367 second doses. To date, of New Zealanders aged over 12 years, 91 per cent have had their first doses and 82 per cent are fully vaccinated, it said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a press conference that Auckland borders will reopen on December 15, ending a three-month lockdown following the first case of Delta variant of Covid-19 that emerged in mid-August in the city.

On Wednesday, the country also launched "My Vaccine Pass" for fully vaccinated people to present before attending large events or entering some public facilities.

"My Vaccine Pass" is an official record of a person's Covid-19 vaccination status and will provide access to places within New Zealand that require proof of vaccination under the new Covid-19 Protection Framework.

--IANS
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