Māori hospitalisations double in one month - Dr Rawiri Taonui

By Māori Covid-19 Analyst Dr Rawiri Taonui, in partnership with Te Ao Māori News.

There were 145 new cases today in the Delta OutBreak. There are new cases in the Auckland Metro (Auckland, Waitematā and Manukau), Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, and Canterbury District Health Boards (DHBs). There were no new cases in four DHBs with active cases (Northland, Lakes, MidCentral and Capital & Coast. All active cases in the Taranaki, Wairārapa and Nelson-Marlborough DHBs have recovered. These DHBs are Delta free

Today’s total is the lowest daily total since 9 November. While the decrease today is promising the recent pattern of troughs in the outbreak where each low is higher than a previous low suggests a further high increase.

The current pause is a levelled out since Delta surged on 11 & 12 November after Auckland went to Alert Level 3 Step and the Waikato went to Level 2. This reflects the pattern in other Western countries pursuing the same live with Delta strategy as the New Zealand government as two times more infectious Delta averages 500,000 new cases per day as it exploits opportunities among the unvaccinated and inadequate vaccination rates among vulnerable groups.

The current World Health Organisation Weekly Epidemiological Reports shows that Western regions now contribute two-thirds of all new cases and deaths reported across the globe.

A significant increase will occur when the government moves the country to the Covid-19 Protection Framework better known as the Traffic Light System on 3 December and opens the Auckland border on 15 December.

Māori Cases

There were 75 new Māori cases today. This is the lowest number for Māori since 10 November. While the lower number is positive, Māori are the highest number of cases for 55 consecutive days. This is also the 16th day in a row since Auckland went to Alert level 3 Step 2 on 11 November that Māori have been more than 50% of all daily cases.

Māori are now 44.3% of all cases in the Delta OutBreak, 48.6% of all active cases and 34% of hospitalisations.

Māori Hospitalisations

Māori hospitalisations so far this month have doubled from 71 on 1 November to 173 today. Fifty of those hospitalisations have come in the two weeks since Auckland went to Alert Level 3 Step 2 and Waikato went to Level 2, twice the increase in Pacific hospitalisations (26) and 70% higher than Pākehā hospitalisations (42).

Projection of Numbers to Christmas

At the current daily rate of 183 new cases per day, there will be over 13,100 Delta cases by Christmas of which 6,300 will be Māori (48%).

There is a considerable risk that a further surge after the move to the Traffic Light System and opening of the Auckland border will see Māori top 50% of total cases,  active cases, hospitalisations, and deaths by Christmas.

Noho haumaru, stay safe.

Dr Rawiri Taonui