New Zealand could face another COVID-19 wave before year-end: report

New Zealand could be hit by another COVID-19 wave before the end of the year, a COVID-19 modeler warned.

Prof. Michael Plank of the University of Canterbury called on Kiwis to get boosted if they haven’t been, according to a report in the New Zealand Herald on Tuesday.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations have been increasing in European countries such as Germany, Denmark, Belgium and Britain, Plank said, citing this as an example of another imminent pandemic wave.

Factors such as waning immunity and new Omicron sub-variants BQ.1.1, a BA.5 descendant, and another sub-type, BA.2.75.2, have been combined to contribute to the forming of another wave in the future, he said.

New Zealand recorded 9,975 new community cases of COVID-19 and 33 more deaths from the pandemic last week, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.

On average, new cases per day reached 1,422 over the last week. The country has seen the number of daily cases going down steadily from over 10,000 cases nationwide in early July.

“So whatever happens in the Northern Hemisphere, I’d expect something similar to happen here – maybe in a matter of weeks,” said Plank, quoted by the New Zealand Herald.

He noted that many New Zealanders were no longer masking up and the border already opened up last month.




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