New Zealand Extends Coronavirus Lockdown in Auckland

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New Zealand Extends Coronavirus Lockdown in Auckland

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand said restrictions would continue in the country’s largest city for another two weeks. Auckland has been in lockdown since Aug. 17, after an outbreak of the Delta variant.

Today is day 62 of alert level 4 or 3 and Tāmaki Makaurau. That is a long time to have been living with restrictions. But those restrictions have made a huge difference. They’ve helped us to keep case numbers as low as possible while we continue to vaccinate people and vaccinations continue to be so important, not just in the future, but right now. Only 4 percent of cases in this outbreak were people who were fully vaccinated. And of the 158 who needed hospital care, only three were fully vaccinated. But we need to keep going with both tools, our restrictions and vaccinations, because with Delta, we cannot rely on just one. If we get this right, if we keep case numbers low while we vaccinate people, then it makes it easier for us to keep control of COVID while we ease restrictions in the future. And that is everyone’s goal. The first thing cabinet has decided is that Auckland will remain at alert level 3 and with the current restrictions already in place, and that we will do that for the next two weeks.

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