New Zealand reported its first case of the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 in a community case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, without a clear link to the border.
The case was found in Hawke's Bay from a test result returned on May 10, said the Ministry of Health. This Omicron subvariant is prevalent in the United States and has been detected at the border for many weeks -- there have been 29 imported cases of its kind reported since April, so its movement into the community is not unexpected, said a ministry statement.
Previously, New Zealand also detected the Omicron BA.4 and/or BA.5 subvariants in the community. New Zealand recorded 8,150 new community cases of COVID-19 and 11 more deaths on Wednesday.
Among the new community infections, 2,617 were reported in the largest city Auckland, the ministry said. In addition, 78 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 11 in intensive care units or high dependency units. New Zealand has reported 1,117,307 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the country.