Today, 5,656 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in the community, the health ministry said. Video / NZ Herald

Today, the community has 5,656 new Covid-19 cases – six more have died.

And a man traveling from abroad to New Zealand has been confirmed to have the Omicron BA.4 variant. This is the first known discovery of this option in New Zealand.

The man arrived in New Zealand from South Africa on April 22, returned a positive RAT result the next day and a positive PCR test on April 24.

The variant was confirmed by complete genomic sequencing, which was done as part of ongoing border surveillance.

The arrival of the option was not unexpected, said the Ministry of Health, which a few days ago was discovered in South Africa, Europe and Australia.

“At this stage, the public health settings already in place to manage other Omicron variants are assessed as suitable for BA.4 management, and no changes are required.”

To date, there has been no evidence that BA.4 was more transmissible or causes more severe disease than other Omicron lines, the ministry said.

There are 466 people in hospitals, including 16 in intensive care.

In the six deaths reported today, there were people who died in the last three days.
Three of the dead were in the 70s and three in the 80s.

Of the deaths reported today, one was from Northland, one from Taranaki, two from Waikato and two from Canterbury.

The total number of publicly reported deaths from Covid-19 is now 750, and the moving average for seven days is 11 deaths.

The average seven-day number of cases is 7,414, up from 8,435 last Sunday.

Regional breakdown of 466 people in hospital: Northland 29, Waitemata 75, Manukau County 64, Auckland 97, Waikato 37, Gulf of Wealth 19, Lakes 2, Tairoviti 1, Hawke’s Bay 11, Taranaki 7, 3 Mirana 5, Wairarapa 3, Hutt Valley 6, Capital and Coast 12, Nelson Marlborough 6, Canterbury 60, South Canterbury 3, West Coast 1, Southern 25.

Today’s data was published later seven new deaths from Covid and 7,043 cases in the community reported Saturday.

On Saturday, 468 people were in hospitals with the virus, 15 of them in intensive care.

This dropped from a maximum of 1,016 people in hospital on March 22 and 33 people in intensive care on March 21.

The total number of deaths reported in open access from Covid-19 was 744. The mean moving average death rate in seven days was 11.

As for the number of cases, Saturday’s seven-day moving average in 7,413 cases continued a steady decline from a peak of 20,467 on March 8th.

However, the fall slowed somewhat, the seven-day moving average fell from just over 8,000 two weeks ago.

While the overall trend is declining, some parts of the South Island, including the West Coast and South Canterbury, are experiencing growth.

Earlier today, Deputy Health Minister Aisha Veral announced a new, more accurate Covid At Auckland Airport, tests of the lamps will be tested, giving results in 30 minutes.

Lamp tests (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) tests can be performed on their own, like RAT (rapid antigen test), but they are much more accurate.

They will be tested at the airport, initially limited to 30 Air NZ employees, and may eventually be used in hospitals, nursing and other sectors.

The announcement was made as New Zealand the border is fully open for the first time in more than two years for foreign guests from countries where visas have been canceled, midnight today.

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