Heartbreaking statistic in New Zealand's latest Covid update

·3-min read

While Covid-19 cases in New Zealand seem to be going down, a startling number of very young children have contracted the virus.

On Tuesday, New Zealand had 49 new Covid cases, all of which were in Auckland.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said it was "sobering" that six children under the age of one had tested positive for Covid-19.

Fortunately, none of those children are in hospital.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gestures during her COVID-19 response and vaccine update in Wellington, New Zealand, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021.
New Zealand reported 49 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday. Source: AP

"I think the youngest person in hospital is 18," Dr Bloomfield. 

"It does tend to be less severe in children, but it just does go to show this is reaching, right across the age groups and I think two thirds of our cases are under age 34, so it is very much in that younger group at the moment."

New Zealand 'breaking' transmission chain

There are 33 people in hospital in New Zealand, with eight in the ICU and two of those on a ventilator.

Dr Bloomfield said most of the people in hospital were older and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the high rates of hospitalisation in Australia show how dangerous the Delta variant is.

"You look across to Australia and they too are experiencing high rates of hospitalisation as well in the outbreak, and everything really is indicative of the extra danger that Delta really does present," she said.

Of the new cases reported on Tuesday, 66 per cent were household contacts and 77 per cent of the new cases did not create any "exposure events", indicating they were in isolation for their infectious period.

Places outside Auckland will have restrictions ease on Wednesday after the two-week lockdown. Source: Sipa USA via AAP
Places outside Auckland in New Zealand will have restrictions eased on Wednesday after the two-week lockdown. Source: Sipa USA via AAP

Dr Bloomfield said he was confident cases would go down. Tuesday's numbers were a decrease from the 53 announced on Monday and the 83 on Sunday.

"Based on our updated modelling, the reproduction rate of the virus in this outbreak is now looking like it is remaining under one," he said.

"This means cases will continue to decline and we are successfully breaking the chain of transmission."

The total case number stands at 612 people, with 597 in Auckland and 15 in Wellington.

Source of virus leak keeps PM up at night

The outbreak was first detected in New Zealand on August 17, and a single case plunged the country into lockdown.

Health officials have determined the first case was a returned traveller from Sydney who checked into quarantine on August 7.

However, health authorities still don't know how the virus escaped quarantine and made its way into the community.

Ms Ardern admitted she was eager to find the source of the leak, saying it kept her up at night.

"I lie awake at night thinking about them and I've not yet come up with any additional theories," she confessed.

"Dr Bloomfield is smiling because he's had to endure me listing off my new theories.

"We've investigated a number and have not yet identified the source. We're left with theories that don't have people to people contact but simply the air."

Restrictions will be eased in New Zealand for places outside Auckland from Wednesday.

From Wednesday, South Islanders and Wellingtonians will be able to get takeaway coffee and food, and essential workers will be able to use childcare.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting