New Zealand locks down Auckland for ANOTHER week

New Zealand locks down Auckland for ANOTHER week
New Zealand locks down Auckland for ANOTHER week

New Zealand has extended its Covid lockdown as the country tries to stamp out cases of the Delta variant. 

The capital Auckland will spend at least another week in the strictest restrictions after 33 Delta cases there on Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, marking its longest shut-down of the pandemic so far.

Meanwhile the rest of the country will remain in Level 2 restrictions - meaning mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing measures - until at least Monday, despite recording zero cases.

Ms Ardern said the country's strict 'zero Covid' strategy - with harsh lockdowns used even for a handful of cases - had helped bring the latest outbreak under control but that 'we haven't quite finished the job yet'. 

She admitted there 'is not widespread transmission of the virus in Auckland' but said a handful of cases not linked to any known outbreaks are causing concern, because it means not all cases have been discovered yet.

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Most New Zealanders remain vulnerable to infection, because the country has fully vaccinated just a third of its population.

Auckland will stay in full lockdown for at least another week after 33 cases of Covid were found there on Monday - the city's longest shut-down of the pandemic so far

Auckland will stay in full lockdown for at least another week after 33 cases of Covid were found there on Monday - the city's longest shut-down of the pandemic so far

Jacinda Ardern said the rest of the country will remain at Level 2 restrictions - with businesses open but social distancing in place - until next week despite no cases being detected

Jacinda Ardern said the rest of the country will remain at Level 2 restrictions - with businesses open but social distancing in place - until next week despite no cases being detected

Of the 33 cases discovered on Monday, one of them - a woman from the suburb of Middlemore - had no connection to any known outbreak.

She tested positive after going into hospital for an unrelated condition, and seven of her family members have also tested positive since.

'The detection of mystery cases unlinked to the current outbreak is concerning,' immunologist Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu of University of Otago Wellington said. 

'Community transmission appears to continue, and it will be important to identify and break new transmission paths for the virus quickly. The unlinked cases highlight the need for everyone to remain vigilant.'

Ms Ardern said ministers

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