COVID-19 cases

All Blacks hit by Covid

The All Blacks head coach Ian Foster, assistant coach John Plumtree and midfielders David Havili and Jack Goodhue, both from the Crusaders, have also tested positive.

Foster and Plumtree are isolating at their homes while Havili and Goodhue are not with the team in Auckland

Foster said he's confident in the team's ability to carry on preparing for the first test, full steam ahead.

"We've had a plan for this happening, and it's a great opportunity for the wider coaching group and the senior players, who will be highly motivated to step up."

Total number of cases in NZ tops 1.3m, with 4429 new community cases today

The new cases today bring the total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand to 1,301,319.

In today's statement, the Ministry of Health said there were 332 people in hospital with Covid-19, including seven in ICU.

A further six deaths of people with the coronavirus have also been reported today, bringing the total death toll to 1461.

One person was in their 50s, one in their 60s, two in their 70s, and two aged over 90. Five were male and one was female. Three were from the Auckland region, two were from Canterbury, and one was from Waikato.

Covid cases decline in Tonga

He said in the past three days average cases has been 10, with 15 reported in 24 hours.

The Ministry of Health reported less than 100 positive cases daily in the last five weeks.

Dr Piukala confirmed there were now 12 reported deaths related to Covid-19.

Vaccination rates stand at 98 percent for the 1st dose, 91 percent for the 2nd dose and 58 percent for Booster shots.

The vaccination rate for children between the ages of five and 11 years old stands at 46 percent.

New Zealand surpasses 1 million Covid-19 cases since pandemic began

It comes as the ministry reports another 9173 new cases and 14 deaths today.

This time last year, the total of cases reported in New Zealand was 2288, the ministry said.

"New Zealanders' collective response to Covid-19 helped us to keep our case numbers low, especially in that first year when the virus was rampant internationally," it said.

In its latest update today, the ministry said 385 people were in hospital with the virus - compared with 368 people in its previous update yesterday. There were 13 people in ICU.

Covid-hit Beijing keeps up guard to avert Shanghai-like misery

As Beijing rolled out three rounds of mass testing this week across a number of districts, it locked down a number of residential compounds, office blocks and a university after infections were found while shutting some schools, entertainment venues and tourist sites.

Universal Studios in Beijing announced late on Wednesday it would require visitors to show negative test results before they could enter the theme park, starting on Friday.

Moana Pasifika miss another round due to Covid-19

This weekend is the first 'Super Round' of the competition where the Australian-based sides which include the Fijian Drua, and the New Zealand-based sides including Moana Pasifika, face off for the first time.

All six matches were scheduled to take place at Melbourne's Rectangular Stadium this weekend, but a rash of Covid-19 cases in the Force squad has led to the postponement of Friday's second fixture.

Small drop in Covid cases in Tonga

That's a drop of about 60 from the previous day's total.

Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni announced the new figures in a televised statement on Thursday morning.

Hu'akavameiliku said 5,541 people had recovered from the disease.

He credited a high vaccination rate with 90 percent of Tonga's eligible population fully vaxxed.

The latest Government figure on Covid deaths officially stands at nine.

     

China announces largest city-wide lockdown

The city of Shanghai will be locked down in two stages over nine days while authorities carry out Covid-19 testing.

The important financial hub has battled a new wave of infections for nearly a month, although case numbers are not high by some international standards.

Authorities had so far resisted locking down the city of some 25 million people to avoid destabilising the economy.

But after Shanghai recorded its highest daily number of cases on Saturday since the early days of the pandemic, authorities appear to have changed course.

Cook Islands withdraw from FIFA World Cup qualifiers

With Vanuatu already out of the tournament in Qatar, Thursday's clash between Solomon Islands and Tahiti in Doha will now act as a single play-off match to determine the winner and runner-up of Group A, with both teams already assured of a spot in the semi-finals.

If the match is level at the end of 90 minutes, extra time will be played followed by penalties if required.

More Covid-19 cases in French Polynesia as pandemic eases

The health authorities say five patients are in hospital.

The number of active cases has almost halved in the past week and is now 662.

More than 80 percent of those 12 years and older have had two jabs.

Pandemic-related restrictions were further relaxed earlier this month by exempting more people from the obligation to be vaccinated.

There is also no longer a need to show a vaccine pass for domestic travel.