Mon, 15 Aug 2022

WELLINGTON, June 27 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand reported 5,549 community cases of COVID-19 and 11 more deaths on Monday, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Among the new community infections, 1,796 cases were reported in the largest city Auckland, the ministry said.

In addition, 96 new cases of COVID-19 were detected at the New Zealand border.

Currently, 383 COVID-19 patients are being treated in hospitals, including six in intensive care units or high dependency units.

New Zealand has reported 1,307,044 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the country in early 2020.

Moreover, the government has widened access to free flu vaccines with an extra 800,000 New Zealanders eligible from July 1. Children aged 3-12 years and people with serious mental health or addiction needs are now eligible for free flu dose.

The move aims to prevent increasing numbers to hospital so as to alleviate the pressure of the country's medical system brought by COVID-19 and winter illnesses, according to Health Minister Andrew Little.

From Tuesday the second COVID-19 booster are available for older New Zealanders and other vulnerable groups six months after the first booster, Little said.

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