NZ could see 1000 Delta cases - Shaun Hendy

Source: 1News

The country could see 1000 Covid-19 community cases emerge from the current Delta outbreak, disease modelling expert Professor Shaun Hendy says.

"This is already ahead of some of our initial estimates of the size of the outbreak when we detected it," he told 1 NEWS on Tuesday.

"At this stage, I think we're clearly looking at an outbreak that's larger than the Auckland August cluster that we dealt with this time last year."

The country's number of cases associated with the current community outbreak rose to 148 after 41 new cases were announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Hendy says the current outbreak is "more comparable to the March-April cluster from 2020 - we could be looking at around 1000 cases all up".

He says the current cases we're seeing are largely people who had been infected prior to the Level 4 lockdown, and, "those case numbers are still catching up".

"We won't see those numbers start to drop until, at best, later this week," he said. 

"We would hope that we start to catch up with the edges of the cluster, as it was, last Tuesday, and then start to see numbers of infections that have occurred under Level 4 lockdown and those numbers should slowly decrease."

Covid-19 test.

Hendy called on New Zealanders not to get discouraged.

"We have been here before. We've dealt with two significant outbreaks in New Zealand successfully. We think Alert Level 4 should be strong enough to contain it, but it does depend on people doing their bit - sticking to the rules, sticking to their bubble.

"The more we follow those rules, the shorter this lockdown will be."