New Zealand declares last locally infected patient free of COVID-19

Sydney, Australia, Oct 7 (efe-eapa).- New Zealand doctors said Wednesday that the last patient infected through a local outbreak free of COVID-19 had been cured, while another 37 cases classified as imported infections remain active in the country.

The city of Auckland, which with 1.7 million inhabitants is the most populous in the nation, will resume normal life at midnight after overcoming a second outbreak of COVID-19 that forced authorities to decree in mid-August a second quarantine.

“This is a huge milestone. New Zealanders have once again succeeded, through their actions, in squashing the virus. The systems we have developed and hardened since the first wave of COVID-19 have been effective in tracking, isolating, and remove it, “said Health Minister Chris Hipkins.

The Auckland outbreak of COVID-19 was detected in four members of the same family and then the outbreak spread to cause 179 infections, in addition to seven other local infections linked to a group of people who returned from abroad.

Minister Hipkins clarified in a statement that he expects the Auckland outbreak to be officially “closed” in four weeks – or two incubation periods for the new coronavirus – if no infection is recorded from this outbreak.

New Zealand has accumulated a total of 1,505 infections since the beginning of the pandemic, including 25 deaths and of which 37 cases among people from abroad are still active.

The country, which declared the first lockdown on Mar. 25 when it only had 50 confirmed cases and returned to the new normal on Jun. 8, entered a technical recession last month after falling 12.2 percent in the second quarter of 2020 in the wake of the tough restrictions imposed.

The nation holds general elections on Oct. 17, in which Prime Minister and Labor Party member Jacinda Ardern is the favorite for re-election for a three-year term. EFE-EPA


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