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New Zealand reports 27 fresh community Covid cases

Wellington, Jan 3 (IANS) New Zealand reported 27 new cases of Covid-19 in the community on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 13,934, according to the Ministry of Health.

Among the new infections, 12 were recorded in the largest city of Auckland, seven in nearby Waikato, seven in Bay of Plenty, and one in the Lakes region, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Ministry.

A total of 44 cases are being treated in hospitals, including five in intensive care units or high dependency units, a Ministry statement said.

The Ministry also reported 24 cases identified at the border. This number is a reflection on the increase in cases globally and the continued impact of Covid-19 in many parts of the world, it said.

To date, more than 95 per cent of the eligible population in New Zealand have had their first dose and over 92 per cent are fully vaccinated.

More than 2,200 booster doses were administered on Monday, it said, adding that from this Wednesday, the interval between the second dose and booster dose will reduce from six months to four months.

"This means anyone aged 18 and over who had their second vaccination at least four months ago can have their booster dose," it said.

Parents and caregivers will be able to book vaccinations for 5-11 year-olds from January 17.

The country's death toll stood at 51.