Shepparton News

Heartbreak over outbreak

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WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s COVID-19 outbreak is following ‘‘depressing­ly familiar’’ trends, disproport­ionately affecting at-risk Samoan and Pacific Kiwis.

New data has been released into NZ’s first Delta outbreak, which jumped by 41 new cases yesterday for a total of 148 infections. The cases are skewing young: two-thirds are under 30.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the youngest was under one, and several are teenagers. NZ’s vaccine rollout is yet to be available to those under 40, unless they are border or health workers, or have a pre-existing condition which might lead to a worse health outcome from catching the virus.

And just as in previous outbreaks, Pacific communitie­s of south Auckland have been hard-hit. So far, 58 cases have been linked to a service at the Samoan Assembly of God church in Mangere. More than half of the infected people in the outbreak are Pasifika. ‘‘It is very heartbreak­ing. Depressing­ly familiar,’’ Debbie Ryan, Pacific Perspectiv­es principal said.

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