Sat, 29 Jan 2022

WELLINGTON, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand reported 18 new cases of COVID-19 in the community on Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country's current community outbreak to 11,254.

Among the new infections, 11 were recorded in the largest city of Auckland, four in nearby Waikato, one in Bay of Plenty and two in Canterbury, according to the country's Ministry of Health.

A total of 34 cases are being treated in hospitals, including two in intensive care units or high dependency units, a ministry statement said.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand stands at 14,572, according to the health ministry.

Forty-five percent of the eligible population have now received their booster shot, it said, adding that boosters are strongly recommended for anyone over the age of 18 who had their second vaccine dose at least four months ago.

On Friday, the ministry also reported 43 people at the border with COVID-19, reflecting the growing number of Omicron cases globally, the ministry said, adding that 266 Omicron COVID-19 cases have been detected at the New Zealand border since Dec. 1.

New Zealand has taken steps to manage the risk of a community Omicron outbreak linked to border cases, including increasing the period overseas arrivals must spend in managed isolation facilities, and shifting the focus of whole genome sequencing to areas of most risk, such as for any cases in border workers, according to the ministry.

To date, over 92 percent of the eligible people in New Zealand are double-dosed or fully vaccinated.

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