New Zealand to extend lockdown for four days as Covid cases increase

WION Web Team
Auckland, New Zealand Published: Aug 27, 2021, 05:28 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in New Zealand Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

As the country recorded 70 new cases in the past 24 hours, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the lockdown will be extended till Tuesday midnight

After recording more than 300 new coronavirus cases within a week, New Zealand has decided to extend the lockdown for four more days.

As the country recorded 70 new cases in the past 24 hours, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the lockdown will be extended till Tuesday midnight. The regions to the south of Auckland will then move to level 3 after Tuesday.

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However, since Auckland and the nearby areas have been reporting the highest cases, the city might stay on level 4 alert for another two weeks.

"This is so we can get Delta under control and reopen fully and safely. We simply can’t do that if we still have a lot of Delta circulating in the community. To move safely down, we will need to be confident we have stamped it out and have cases contained and isolated," Ardern said.

Explaining the decision, Ardern said it was important for the government to make sure that a 14-day cycle is completed since the first case was found. "The second reason is that we do have cases in Wellington, and while currently contained did have contacts that are due further testing over the coming days," she explained further. "Thirdly, we did see a positive wastewater test, in the South Island, namely Christchurch, yesterday. It’s likely that this is a result of positive cases in a managed isolation facility, but further tests, and a few extra days will allow us to answer that question."

Also read | New Zealand reports highest increase in COVID-19 cases since April last year

Unlike last time, the close contacts of Covid positive people have crossed the mark of 20,000. Till now, the officials have identified 29,851 close contacts of Covid positive people, and out of these 76 per cent people have been tested for the virus.

New Zealand administered 90,757 doses on Thursday, taking the count total of vaccinated people to nearly 3.11 million.

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