New Zealand recorded 6,407 new community cases of COVID-19, the ministry of health said on Monday.
Among the new community infections, 2,066 were reported in the largest city Auckland, the ministry said in a statement.
A further two people who have travelled from overseas to New Zealand have been confirmed as having the BA.5 variant of Omicron, it said.
Both people travelled to New Zealand and subsequently returned positive RAT and PCR results.
Whole-genome sequencing subsequently confirmed the BA.5 variant. Following the first BA.5 case reported on Sunday, there are now three people who are confirmed to have the variant, all of whom travelled from South Africa, the statement said.
Both BA.4 and BA.5 have been reported in Southern Africa and Europe, and both variants have been detected in Australia. The arrival of the BA.5 sub-variant in New Zealand is not unexpected, it said.
At this stage, the public health settings already in place to manage other Omicron variants are assessed to be appropriate for managing BA.5 and no changes are required, it said, adding it can take weeks or months to assess the severity of each new variant or sub-variant, so the Ministry of Health will continue to monitor the emerging evidence closely.
In addition, 57 new cases of COVID-19 were detected at the New Zealand border.
Currently, 368 COVID-19 patients are being treated in New Zealand hospitals, including 18 people in intensive care units or high dependency units. The ministry also reported two more deaths from COVID-19.
New Zealand has reported 992,732 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
New Zealand is currently under the orange settings of its COVID-19 Protection Framework, where there is no limit for gatherings.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)