Report: NZ could face another COVID-19 wave before year-end

A health worker in personal protective equipment collects a swab sample from a woman during a rapid antigen testing campaign for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a railway station platform in Mumbai, India, Aug 27, 2021. (Francis Mascarenhas / REUTERS)

SEOUL / ISLAMABAD / KUALA LUMPUR / NEW DELHI / WELLINGTON – New Zealand could be hit by another COVID-19 wave before the end of the year, a COVID-19 modeler warned on Tuesday.

Prof Michael Plank of the University of Canterbury called on Kiwis to get boosted if they haven't been, according to a report in the New Zealand Herald

Prof Michael Plank of the University of Canterbury called on Kiwis to get boosted if they haven't been, according to a report in the New Zealand Herald.

Factors such as waning immunity and new Omicron sub-variants BQ.1.1, a BA.5 descendant, and another sub-type, BA.2.75.2, have been combined to contribute to the forming of another wave in the future, he said.

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He noted that many New Zealanders were no longer masking up and the border already opened up last month.

On average, new cases per day reached 1,422 over the last week. The country has seen the number of daily cases going down steadily from over 10,000 cases nationwide in early July.


India's daily COVID-19 caseload Tuesday fell below the 2,000 mark, officials said.

According to federal health ministry data released on Tuesday morning, 1,968 new cases of COVID-19 were reported during the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 44,599,466 in the country.

The country also logged 15 related deaths during the past 24 hours, pushing the overall death toll to 528,716 since the beginning of the pandemic, the ministry said.

At present, Indian government is focusing on improving booster dose coverage as the uptake for the third dose has been low. The aim is to boost the immunity of the people in the wake of the detection of new variants. 


Malaysia reported 1,244 new COVID-19 infections as of midnight Monday, bringing the national total to 4,845,109, according to the health ministry.

There are four new imported cases, with 1,240 cases being local transmissions, data released on the ministry's website showed.

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Five new deaths have been reported, leaving the death toll at 36,380.

The country reported 896 vaccine doses administered on Monday alone and 86.1 percent of the population have received at least one dose, 84.2 percent are fully vaccinated and 49.7 percent have received the first booster and 1.6 percent have received the second booster. 


Pakistan recorded 16 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the country's ministry of health said on Tuesday.

A total of 30,619 people had died of COVID-19 in Pakistan, with no new deaths reported in the country during the last 24 hours, according to the ministry.

People wait in line to get coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at a coronavirus testing site in Seoul, Republic of Korea, July 15, 2021. (KIM HONG-JI / REUTERS)

Republic of Korea 

South Korea reported 16,423 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight Monday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 24,848,184, the health authorities said Tuesday.

For the past week, the daily average number of confirmed cases was 24,947.

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Among the new cases, 106 were imported from overseas, lifting the total to 68,018.

Nineteen more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 28,528. The total fatality rate was 0.11 percent.