New Zealand COVID-19 cases again spiked as the country has been battling with the second wave of omicron infections, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.
During the past 24 hours, New Zealand registered 11,282 new infections, bringing the caseload to over 1.47 million, according to the ministry.
With 23 more fatalities, the virus-related death toll also rose to 1,697.
The Health Ministry in a statement said they are closely monitoring the continued rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as part of their ongoing review and updating of the response to the current community outbreak.
The government also announced to provide free medical masks and rapid antigen tests as additional measures to help tackle the second omicron wave.
Ayesha Verrall, the COVID response minister, said the government is rolling out additional measures to help tackle the second omicron wave and record levels of flu to ease pressure on the health system and health workers.
“There’s no question the combination of a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the worst flu season in recent memory, and corresponding staff absences are putting health workers and the whole health system under extreme pressure,” Ayesha Verrall said.
“Our modeling suggests we’re at the beginning of a second omicron wave that could be bigger than the first, with the more transmissible BA.5 variant becoming the dominant strain in the community," she added.
*Writing by Islamuddin SajidAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.