The Omicron wave continues to grow in New Zealand, which has recorded 1573 community COVID-19 cases.
Thursday’s case count was another daily record for New Zealand, up roughly a third of Wednesday’s tally of 1160.
Spread of the highly transmissible variant was first picked up 26 days ago, when the rolling seven-day average of cases was just 25.
Since then, cases have doubled roughly every 4.5 days.
While it is increasingly difficult to avoid catching COVID-19, health officials maintain the best way to avoid serious illness is to get vaccinated.
“Since January 22, when the first Omicron case was detected in the community, double-vaccinated cases are ten times less likely to require hospitalisation than unvaccinated cases,” a health ministry statement read.
“Four per cent of unvaccinated cases have required hospitalisation and 0.4 per cent of fully vaccinated cases have required hospitalisation.”
On Thursday, there were 63 people in hospital with COVID-19 — up marginally from 59 on Wednesday — and none in intensive care.
New Zealand’s booster rollout continues at pace, with more than one per cent of the eligible population getting a third shot of vaccine each day.
Of Kiwis aged 12 and over, 95 per cent are double-dosed, and three-fifths of those able to get their booster have done so.
The outbreak remains centred on Auckland, which recorded 1140 of Thursday’s cases.
For the first time in the Omicron outbreak, there is substantial spread on South Island, which has recorded 91 cases — doubling in just two days.