Health

New Zealand extends nationwide lockdown until Tuesday

Sydney, Australia, Aug 20 (EFE).- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Friday that the entire country will remain confined until Friday in response to the spread of a small Covid-19 outbreak detected this week in Auckland city.

Ardern, recognized worldwide for her management of the pandemic with rapid and early confinements, ordered on Tuesday the confinement of Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula for seven days and the rest of the country for three days. It came after the first local Covid-19 contagion was reported in New Zealand in six months.

New Zealand authorities registered 11 infections of the delta variant Friday, with 31 community infections, including three in Wellington.

This is the first time in the latest outbreak that cases have been detected outside Auckland, the most populous city in New Zealand, which is why the Ardern’s government confined the entire country until Tuesday.

“We do not know the magnitude of this delta outbreak. We must remain cautious,” Ardern said at a press conference in Wellington, referring to the outbreak which has been linked to the Covid-19 crisis in Australia.

New Zealand, with about 5 million inhabitants, has registered more than 2,900 confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, including 26 deaths and 52 active cases.

Authorities last week accelerated their vaccination campaign, which began in February with border workers and began in late July to use doses of Pfizer to inoculate the general population.

The government intends to finish vaccinating the target population before the end of the year to reopen its borders, which closed in March 2020, starting in the first quarter of 2021 through an individualized plan that weighs the risk of the country of origin of the international traveler and its immunization status. EFE

wat/lds

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