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By RNZ News

More than 14,000 New Zealanders could die and tens of thousands more could be hospitalised if the country fails in its efforts to stamp out Covid-19, according to new research.

The Otago University projections paint a bleak picture, but are more optimistic than other modelling by the University of Auckland’s Te Pūnaha Matatini.

That report concluded that, left unchecked, the virus would infect 89 percent of the population and kill up to 80,000 people.

READ MORE: Al Jazeera coronavirus updates – Italy reports 812 deaths in one day

“If New Zealand fails with its current eradication strategy toward Covid-19, then health outcomes for New Zealand could be very severe,” the report said.

“If interventions were intense enough however, in some scenarios the epidemic peak could still be suppressed or pushed out to the following year (at which time a vaccine may be available).”

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The University of Otago research paper – which was provided to the Ministry of Health last week – estimates that up to 64 percent of the population could fall ill with up to 14,400 people dying.

It warns the death rate could be pushed higher if the influx overwhelmed the country’s intensive care units.

This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP – don’t show up at a medical centre.
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