NZ’s covid-19 numbers drop to 20 new cases – new vaccine deal

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NZ's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield ... all new community cases in Auckland. Image: RNZ Pool/NZME

RNZ News

Covid-19 numbers dropped slightly today to 20 new community cases, while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a deal with Denmark to bring 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to this country.

The number of new delta variant community cases in New Zealand dropped back to 20 cases from yesterday’s 23, which was the highest in several days.

At today’s media update, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said all the new cases were in Auckland.

The total number of cases in the current community outbreak is 922. Eighteen people are in hospital and four are in ICU.

There were also three new cases in managed isolation.

“We do not have widespread community transmission,” Dr Bloomfield said at the press conference, noting that the source of most of the cases is clear and more are being found all the time.

“Casual fleeting transmission, we haven’t really seen any cases from that.”

Dr Bloomfield said no staff or patients had returned a positive test following the three community cases announced last night from Middlemore Hospital.

The person who tested positive at Middlemore Hospital last weekend had nine other family members who had tested positive, providing a clear link to the wider outbreak, Dr Bloomfield said.

“I just want to emphasise the importance of anyone who needs care for any reason to seek that care,” Dr Bloomfield said.

“I want to reassure people that our hospitals are safe.”

Vaccines coming from Denmark
The government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer covid-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

“This is the second and larger agreement the government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the significantly increased demand through September before our large shipments land in October,” Ardern said.

Ardern thanked the Danish government and European Commission for facilitating the deal, which added to another 250,000 doses from Spain announced last week.

“Combined, the Denmark and the Spain deals leave us in the strongest position possible to vaccinate at pace,” and move beyond life with tough covid restrictions, she said.

“There is now nothing holding us back.”

Ardern also announced that 500,000 Aucklanders were now fully vaccinated. More than 26,000 were vaccinated just yesterday.

“Thank you Auckland, and keep it up. You are doing the very best you can do right now to avoid future scenarios like the one we are in.”

Alert levels to be considered
Cabinet is set to meet tomorrow to look at alert levels. Auckland has been in alert Level 4 since August 17.

Ardern refused to speculate today on what cabinet might do.

However, the recent bump in new cases and concerns about unexplained cases at Middlemore Hospital have had several experts predicting Level 4 will last longer than this coming week.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said it was likely there would be a further delay.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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