206 new Covid-19 community cases 'not unexpected' - PM

Source: 1News

Saturday's 206 Covid-19 cases in the community is "not unexpected", Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Two hundred of the cases are in Auckland, four are in the Waikato and two are in Northland, the Ministry of Health said in a written statement on Saturday afternoon.

While the figure is the country's highest daily total to date, Ardern appeared unperturbed, calling the number "not outside what we would expect".

"We are still sitting between what we’ve said the R value of 1.2 and 1.3 so not unexpected as to what we’ve been projecting that we may see in terms of case numbers," she told reporters following the Labour Party conference.

"Keep in mind we also take a smoothing of what we see on average across three to five days."

The Prime Minister also noted that capacity in our hospitals is "still available, still absolutely able to treat and meet the needs of all those who are coming through hospital".

It follows the Health Ministry's announcement that a total of 73 people are in hospital, with seven of them in the ICU or HDU.

Ardern said health officials are recording patients who are being admitted into wards, the ICU and the ED.

She said the average length of a patient's stay is "about two days" so "our hospitals are coping well".

"So 20 per cent aren't necessarily being admitted, so we’re being very comprehensive in the way that we’re recording hospitalisations at the moment."