New Zealand COVID-19 death rate at record levels

WELLINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) – New Zealanders are dying from COVID-19 at record rates as the country battles a new wave of the Omicron strain that is particularly affecting the older population.

Deaths from the virus reached 151 in the seven days to July 16, compared with 115 in the worst week of the previous wave, in March, according to Health Ministry data. In the latest 24 hours, 26 people died from COVID, all aged over 60, the ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Advertisement · Scroll to continue

The Omicron BA.5 sub-variant is driving the current wave in New Zealand, which has 5.1 million people. There have been 64,780 active cases in the past seven days, although authorities say many infections are unreported.

Once regarded as a model for preventing COVID infection, New Zealand’s swift response to the pandemic and its geographic isolation kept it largely free from the virus until the end of last year.
REUTERS