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Deadly day for NZ with seven COVID deaths

New Zealand has recorded another seven COVID-19 deaths, it’s deadliest day of the pandemic.

Five of the deaths occurred in Auckland, with one in the Waikato and another in the South Island’s Southern region.

The ages of the deceased ranged from the 50s to the 90s.

The death toll now stands at 98, after a health ministry reconciliation of COVID-19 deaths this week produced a higher number than previously reported.

The Omicron wave shows no sign of relenting, with 20,989 cases reported on Friday and another record hospitalisation count.

There are 856 people are in NZ hospitals with COVID-19, including 20 people in intensive care, also a record.

Auckland remains the hardest-hit region, with 588 of the hospitalisations, though cases in NZ’s biggest city are receding, down to 7240 on Friday from daily highs above 12,000.

New Zealand’s vaccination campaign continues alongside the Omicron outbreak.

Over 95 per cent of people aged 12 and over are double-dosed, while 73 per cent of eligible Kiwis have taken a booster dose.

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