New Zealand records 56 new COVID-19 cases

·1-min read

In stark contrast to Australia, New Zealand's COVID-19 cases continue to trend downwards in the lead-up to Christmas.

On Thursday, NZ health authorities reported 56 community cases - fewer than one per cent of Australia's record-setting daily case numbers.

Most cases were identified in Auckland (42), with a smattering in Bay of Plenty (6), the Waikato (4) and elsewhere on the North Island.

There are no further cases in Wellington after the capital's first community case in weeks was reported on Wednesday.

The seven-day rolling average is 58 cases - down from 84 a week earlier - with hospitalisations also down.

There are 48 people in hospital, including seven in intensive care.

A majority of those requiring hospital care are unvaccinated.

Omicron has not yet reached the community in New Zealand, though a growing number of cases are being picked up at the border.

The country's vaccine rollout has also inched a percentage point higher, with 95 per cent of eligible Kiwis partially vaccinated and 90 per cent double-dosed as of Thursday..

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