Wellington: New Zealand reported its first case of Omicron BA.4 variant at the border amid 12,699 community cases during the weekend, said the Ministry of Health on Sunday. A person who has traveled from overseas to New Zealand has been confirmed as having the BA.4 variant of Omicron.
This is the first known detection of the variant in New Zealand, the ministry said in a statement. Two other sub-variants of Omicron, the BA.2.12.1 and the BA 2.12.2, have also been detected in two returnees for the first time in New Zealand from travelers arriving in April, said the ministry.
Meanwhile, the country reported the deaths of 13 people with COVID-19 amid the new community cases in the past two days. In addition, there were 138 new cases of COVID-19 detected at the New Zealand border during the weekend, according to the ministry.
Today there are 5,656 new community cases of #COVID19 to report. There are 466 people in hospital and 16 in ICU. https://t.co/IhzaQ4EFVG
— Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora (@minhealthnz) May 1, 2022
The country has reported 933,464 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. New Zealand is currently under the orange settings of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, where there is no limit for gatherings.