New Zealand cases jump sharply
New Zealand’s daily Covid cases have jumped sharply to 45 – more than five times the previous day’s number. The rise comes after several days of about 12 cases a day, and around a week after the Auckland region lifted its strictest lockdown restrictions.
“This is a big number. It’s a sobering number. I don’t think anybody who’s involved in this process would be celebrating a number like the one we’re seeing today,” said the Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins.
“But the fact that such a significant proportion of those are known contacts or household contacts does point a little bit to the nature of this particular outbreak that we’re now dealing with in the way it’s concentrated in larger households.”
The director general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said a number of the cases had been expected by health officials – much of Auckland’s outbreak is spreading through large family groups. Thirty-three of the new cases were known household or close contacts of existing cases. Of these, 26 were household contacts, and 12 came from two households. Twelve cases were unlinked.
Hello and welcome to today’s live coronavirus coverage.
New Zealand’s daily Covid cases jumped sharply to 45 on Wednesday – more than five times the previous day’s number. The rise comes after several days of about 12 cases a day, and around a week after the Auckland region lifted its strictest lockdown restrictions.
Meanwhile in the America, United Airlines said on Tuesday nearly 600 US-based employees faced termination after failing to comply with the carrier’s vaccination policy. In early August, the company became the first US carrier to require Covid vaccinations for all domestic employees, requiring proof of vaccination by Monday.
More on these stories shortly. In the meantime, here are the other key recent developments:
- Scotland will delay the enforcement of vaccine passports by introducing a two-week grace period for venues, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
- In England more than one in ten secondary school pupils and over a third of school staff who had coronavirus have suffered long Covid symptoms, the latest figures suggest.
- The head of the UN has called on rich countries to step up efforts to protect workers hit by the Covid-19 pandemic with an additional $1tn (£736bn) injection of funds to avoid a twin-track recovery that widens the gap with the world’s poorest nations.
- A chair will be appointed by Christmas to the UK public inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic and sessions should take place around the country, Boris Johnson has told the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group.
- Turkey will “never” close schools again despite the recent rise in coronavirus infections, its health minister Fahrettin Koca said today.
- New Covid infections in Romania rose by a record high of 11,049 in the past 24 hours, its government said on Tuesday.
- In the US, a federal appeals panel has said New York City can mandate teachers be vaccinated against Covid.
- Pakistan is to start vaccinating children aged 12 and above after a decline in Covid deaths across the country.
- Australians will be able to test themselves for Covid at home from November using rapid antigen test kits bought from chemists or online, health authorities have announced.