In three weeks’ time, vaccination coverage in Auckland could be high enough to keep the outbreak from growing any further, with the number of daily cases peaking at about 200 a day.
These are the projections according to modelling released today and presented by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
Under the median estimates for the model, the number of weekly cases could hit 1300 by November 15, and plateau at 1400 a week later on November 22.
The R value would be pushed down below 1.2 at this time.
By the end of November, 150 people a week would need hospital care, 11 of whom would need ICU care, and Covid-19 patients would take up 106 hospital beds, including 20 ICU beds.
The current hospital capacity should be able to cope with this, with most of the active cases in home isolation.
The median estimates were more or less in line with what happened for the previous week.
There were 767 cases last week, 63 fewer than the median estimate, and 109 new hospitalisations, which was 29 more than the estimate.
The upper estimates for the model, however, would see daily cases continue to rise, hitting 300 a day by the end of November, and continuing to increase as vaccination coverage wouldn’t be able to keep up with the spread of the virus.
Ardern and Bloomfield also released the trends in the proportion of cases and hospitalisations that are vaccinated.
Case numbers have continued to rise by hospitalisations have not risen at the same rate.
Bloomfield said that many of the people who have needed hospital care was because of medical reasons other than Covid-19.
As more of the population have become vaccinated, the proportion of overall cases that have been jabbed has increased; 93.36 per cent of cases in the first 10 days of the outbreak were unvaccinated, dropping to 77.56 per cent for the period from October 23 to 28. The proportion of cases who were fully vaccinated (with the second dose being at least three weeks before testing positive) tripled over the same period, from 3.32 per cent to 9.97 per cent.
The proportion of cases in hospital that were fully vaccinated remains tiny, but has also increased as vaccination coverage has increased. Only 1 per cent of cases that needed hospital care were fully vaccinated for the period from August 16 to 29. This jumped to 6 per cent for the period from October 25 to 27.
“As you get higher vaccination rates, an increasing proportion of people will be people who are fully vaccinated,” Bloomfield said.
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