‘Covid-19 is on the doorstep of your houses,’ warns Henare – cases hit 94

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NZ Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare
Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare ... "the best course of protection still remains for us to vaccinate our people." Image: TVNZ screenshot APR

RNZ News

New Zealand’s Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare today thanked all Māori providers, iwi, hapū, practitioners, vaccinators and district health board (DHB) staff for their efforts, and warned that “covid-19 is on the doorstep of your houses”.

“Do not let it enter,” he added.

“You’re efforts are indeed seen,” he said as he fronted a media briefing today with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Henare said that over the past two weeks, prior to Super Saturday, he had travelled to a number of DHBs and saw great work but identified a number of challenges.

He asked those who were not on board for their help.

“Our whānau need you and to many of them you are the trusted person that will be key to them making an informed decision about the vaccination,” he said.

Significant funding had already been provided to Hauora Māori to support and build capability for the vaccine programme, he says.

He said that if they needed support to make their decision, get their information from official sources or they could speak to kaumātua and kuia who were currently leading vaccination rates among Māori communities.

An announcement would be made later in the week regarding support for the Māori vaccination effort.

“We’ve seen the threat that this current covid-19 outbreak is to the wellbeing of Māori communities with a total of 560 Māori cases recorded.

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“In the last two weeks, Māori have made up 45.7 percent of total cases vs 28 percent throughout the entire outbreak. Although sobering, these numbers reinforce why vaccinating our communities is so important,” he said.

“So I say to the Māori people, covid-19 is on the doorstep of your houses, do not let it enter and the best course of protection still remains for us to vaccinate our people.”

94 community cases
New community cases of covid-19 jumped to 94 today — the highest total in the current outbreak, the Ministry of Health reports.

Of today’s cases as at 10am, 41 are linked — 26 of which are household contacts — and 53 are unlinked, the ministry said in a statement.

There are 38 people in hospital – eight in the North Shore, 12 in Middlemore, and 18 in Auckland.

Five people are in ICU or HDU.

The total number of cases in the outbreak is 2099. That is made of 2030 cases in Auckland (1360 of whom have recovered); 52 in Waikato (seven of whom have recovered); and 17 in Wellington (all of whom have recovered).

And 183 cases from the past 14 days remain unlinked.

The ministry said there were 2039 contacts.

A total of 16,921 tests were processed around the country yesterday, 12,688 being in Auckland.

As of this morning, there were 439 locations of interest.

Vaccination numbers
In terms of vaccination numbers to date, 6,387,870 vaccines have been administered: 3,582,822 (85 percent) first doses, and 2,805,048 (67 percent) second doses.

Of those, 379,563 (66 percent) Māori have had their first dose and 258,018 (45 percent) have had their second dose.

And 231,295 (81 percent) Pasifika have had one dose of the vaccine while 171,818 (60 percent) are fully vaccinated.

In Auckland, 89 percent of the eligible population has had one dose of the vaccine and 72 percent has had both doses.

Yesterday the ministry reported 60 cases of the virus, three in Waikato and the rest in Auckland.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday announced Northland would move to alert level 2 at 11.59pm tonight.

Waikato remains in level 3, with a review of the setting on Friday and Auckland will remain in level 3, step 1, for at least two more weeks.

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

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