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Live updates, October 18: Another alert level decision looms after Vaxathon boost

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Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for October 18, by Stewart Sowman-Lund. Auckland is now at step one of the alert level three pathway, Northland and parts of Waikato are in regular level three. Reach me on stewart@thespinoff.co.nz 8.00am: Another alert level decision looms after Vaxathon boostAuckland, Northland and parts of Waikato will be hoping […]

Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for October 18, by Stewart Sowman-Lund. Auckland is now at step one of the alert level three pathway, Northland and parts of Waikato are in regular level three. Reach me on stewart@thespinoff.co.nz


8.00am: Another alert level decision looms after Vaxathon boost

Auckland, Northland and parts of Waikato will be hoping for good news from the prime minister come 4pm today.

It’s another alert level decision day and it comes after 130,000 vaccine doses were given out during Saturday’s Vaxathon – our largest single day for vaccine doses.

However, the number of double doses remains significantly lower and experts are urging caution with daily case numbers still high.

Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said the key milestone is 90% double vaccinated in Auckland. “At the moment it’s just over 70% fully vaccinated across the Auckland region so that’s great progress,” he told RNZ. Auckland is due to hit the first dose milestone within the coming days.

“Over these next three to four weeks on current trends we will hit that fully vaccinated,” he said. “It’s a matter of mapping out that pathway to 90%. It’s not just a target, it’s a milestone because we don’t stop there.”

On the case numbers, Bloomfield said health officials will be watching those “very closely” and continuing to “actively and aggressively” contact trace. The R value remains between 1.2 and 1.3, meaning numbers are likely to keep rising.

The next Covid-19 update is due via press release at 1pm with Jacinda Ardern and Bloomfield expected to speak at 4pm.

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7.30am: From The Bulletin

Super Saturday was a win for all of us. Instead of focusing on the record-breaking number of vaccinations, Duncan Greive writes in The Spinoff that Super Saturday is a win because it tapped into the country’s resourcefulness. We’re all a little tired, but from large corporations to individuals rolling up their sleeves, the outpouring on Saturday showed a country willing to tackle Covid-19. Forget the 1pm podium, it was individual New Zealanders who beat the first outbreak and they’ve shown that they are still in the fight. We’ll need that tenacity in the coming weeks, according to Rawiri Jansen.

Cabinet’s decision on whether restrictions can be lowered in Auckland, Northland and parts of Waikato will be announced today at 4pm.


The Covid numbers: There are 29 cases in hospital and 5 in ICU/HDU. There are now 623 active cases in New Zealand. 47 new community cases were reported in Auckland yesterday and 4 in Waikato. 130,002 people were vaccinated on Saturday.

The Spinoff’s Covid data tracker has the latest figures.


Suspect in the killing of British MP Sir David Amess faces terror charges. Amess, a Conservative MP since 1983, was holding a meeting on Friday with constituents when he was stabbed, according to the BBC. He’s the second British MP killed in recent years after the 2016 murder of Labour’s Jo Cox. A 25-year-old Briton is being held under the country’s terrorism act. The BBC reports that the man had been referred to the UK’s deradicalisation programme in the past, but dropped out soon after.


Inflation expected to hit the highest level in a decade. Economists will be on the lookout later today as new inflation data is released, RNZ reports. The forecast is that the annual rate could rise to 4.1%, the highest since 2011. Based on current price spikes in the economy with petrol, housing, shipping and food costs, that wouldn’t be unexpected. Inflation is currently on the rise across the world as consumers are willing to spend big, however from oil to computer chips, the global economy hasn’t increased production to match.

READ:  Strange And Disturbing Times 2.0

This is part of The Bulletin, The Spinoff’s must-read daily news wrap. To sign up for free, simply enter your email address below

Source: The Spinoff https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/18-10-2021/live-updates-october-18-another-alert-level-decision-looms-after-vaxathon-boost/

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