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Covid-19: New reports highlight virus' impact on Māori and Pacific communities

Two new reports collating Covid-19 data on Māori and Pacific peoples have revealed an increase in deaths in both groups in the week ended 3 April.

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The new weekly reports summarise Covid-19 data on Māori and Pacific peoples, including hospitalisation rates, over the course of the pandemic. Photo: RNZ / Vinay Ranchhod

The Ministry of Health has begun publishing the weekly reports, which include data on deaths, hospitalisations, PCR testing rates and vaccination coverage, for Covid-19 cases identified as whānau Māori and as Pacific ethnicities.

The results are broken down both nationally and by DHB region and summarise all data from the beginning of the pandemic in February 2020 to the present.

One of the reports released today showed that 24 cases identified as Māori passed away during the week ended 3 April, 15 more whānau than in the week prior.

Deaths of cases identified as being of Pacific ethnicity were also up, with 20 recorded during the same week, up from 12 a week earlier.

However the number of cases who identified as Māori decreased to 18,283 in the same period, compared with 23,050 the previous week.

Māori made up 20.5 percent of Aotearoa's total cases since the pandemic began, the relevant report said.

By comparison, those who identified as having a Pacific ethnicity made up 14.8 percent of total pandemic cases, a figure which had dropped by 1.4 percent in the week ended 3 April.

Pacific cases were also found to have had over double the positivity rate and almost double the PCR testing rates of all other ethnicities between 22 January 2020 and 4 April 2022.

The number of Pacific cases admitted to hospital in the week ended 3 April dropped by 81 to 204, however the relevant report noted Pacific admissions remained high as a percentage of total Covid-19-related hospital admissions, at 33 per cent.

Fewer Māori cases were admitted to hospital in that same week, with admissions down to 210 down from 240 the week prior.