WELLINGTON (Reuters)-New Zealand extended a strict lockdown in his biggest city on Monday, which requires 1.7 million people living in Auckland to remain indoors for at least one more week to sniff out small outbreaks of the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus.
Health authorities registered 33 new cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 on Monday, everyone in Auckland, that was higher than 23 and 20 cases reported over the weekend.
“To be clear there is no widespread transmission of the virus in Auckland, but as long as we have new When cases arise, there are risks,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said news conference, announcing the decision to extend the city’s lockdown until September 21.
After that Auckland move from level 4 to level 3, which means that the curbs are slightly relaxed, but offices, schools and public locations would still stay shut.
New Zealand had been largely virus-free for months to an outbreak of the Delta variant imported from Australia prompted Ardern to impose a nationwide lockdown in to order a snap on August 17.
The outbreak has infected 955 so far, most of them of die have been in Auckland.
The city is almost cut off off from the rest of the country where the lockdown was lowered last week to level 2, enable people To go back to their offices and schools.
The lockdowns in New Zealand and international border closure since March 2020 has been credited with cleaning in COVID-19, largely liberating up daily activities for people.
There have been just 3,593 cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand since the begin of the pandemic and 27 related deaths.
But Ardern has been criticized for a slow vaccination program as the country battled the Delta outbreak. about 34% of it’s 5.1 million population has been fully vaccinated so far.
New Zealand has purchased Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses from Spain and Denmark to boost its immunization program.
(Reporting by Praveen Menon; editing by Diane Craft & Simon Cameron-Moore)
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