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NZ’s COVID outbreak grows to 210 cases, including infant

New Zealand has recorded 62 new COVID-19 cases in the community taking the total linked to the outbreak that began in Auckland last week to 210, including 12 in Wellington.

Wednesday’s numbers are an increase on the 41 cases that were reported on Tuesday. It is the most new cases detected in New Zealand in a day since April 2020. One new case was detected in quarantine.

There were 12 people in hospital, three added on Tuesday, although none were in ICU, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

New Zealand Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

New Zealand Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.Credit:Getty Images

Bloomfield said that although the case numbers have increased, officials know the lockdown and other actions to slow the virus will begin to have an effect.

“Contact tracing, isolation, community isolation are helpful tools, but the most important thing to control it is people abiding by the restrictions,” he said.

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Local news outlet Stuff reported on Tuesday that a baby under the age of one was the youngest person infected with the Delta variant in the outbreak.

Bloomfield told the parliamentary health select committee on Tuesday the infected infant was one of the first 40 cases in the Auckland cluster, of which half were under the age of 20. He had previously said more than half of the cases were Pasifika people and at least one was Maori, Stuff reported.

Infected younger people were less likely to become very sick if they contracted the virus, but more severe infections in unvaccinated young people could be expected if the outbreak wasn’t brought under control, Immunisation Advisory Centre medical director Dr Nikki Turner said, Stuff reported.

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