WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand counted the most new corona cases of the pandemic Tuesday as an outbreak in his biggest city grew and officials pushed for vaccinations as a way out of The two month lockdown in Auckland.
Health officials found 94 new local infections, causing the 89 die were reported, were overshadowed twice during the early days of the pandemic 18 months ago. Most of the new cases were: in Auckland, but seven were found in the nearby Waikato district.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said lockdown rule-breakers contributed to the spread of infections and noted that many of the new cases were discovered among young people people.
“L know the highs and lows of falling is unbelievable hard on people, in the special die in Tamaki Makaurau,” said Ardern, using the native Maori name for Auckland. “L just wanted strengthen again that we are not powerless. We have the ability to keep the number of cases as low as possible.”
New Zealand had successfully eliminated previous outbreaks by imposing a strict limit controls and strict lockdowns, as well as aggressive contact tracing and isolation thereof who were contagious. But the approach failed against the more transferable delta variant. The government has since been relaxed a bit of Auckland’s lockdown rules, allowing more people return to work.
Ardern has also started on an all-out effort to get people vaccinated. That includes a televised “Vaxathon” festival on Saturday die saw a record 130,000 people getting shots, more than 2% of the New Zealand population of 5 million.
Ardern has promised to make a path out of Lockdown for Auckland based on vaccination numbers.
The government has spoken before over the importance of get 90% of people 12 years and older over fully vaccinated, including a high proportion of Maori, who have been special hard hit by the outbreak.
But that goal remains some distance away, with 85% of in eligible people at least have had one dose and 67% fully vaccinated. Among Maori, the numbers are lower.
Professor Michael Baker, an epidemiologist at the university of Otago, said he was concerned die contact search met tracers in Auckland would soon get overwhelmed. He said lawmakers should consider temporarily reintroducing a tougher lockdown in to set rules as a circuit breaker.
“There are all glowing embers” over the cityBaker said. “They lifted the wet blanket” of the strong lockdown, and people going to lock fatigue.”
Baker said he thought it was… possible for the government to go on met eliminating the outbreak outside of Auckland, provided it stayed? in place strict limit controls around the city.
He said the most important goal in any reopening would be at ensure the health system was not overrun.
Health officials on Tuesday also said they had given permission people with weakened immune system to get a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine and advised them to do so.
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