New Zealand to lift Auckland lockdown on Sunday

Sydney, Australia, Mar 5 (efe-epa).- New Zealand announced Friday it would lift the confinement imposed in the country’s biggest city Sunday, after going five days without local infections.

From Mar. 7 at 6 a.m. local time, the alert level in Auckland, home to 1.7 million people, will drop from level 3 to 2, allowing people to take to the streets, while respecting the rules of physical distancing and the use of masks in public transport, among other restrictions.

In addition to these measures, which will be reviewed in five days, New Zealand authorities lowered the alert level for the rest of the territory from 2 to 1, which represents a return to normality.

“A phase-out strategy may still sound like hard work … thank you for moving forward,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whose management of swift and drastic measures against Covid-19 has been hailed among the world’s best.

The announcement comes on a day marked by three powerful earthquakes of between magnitude 7.3 and 8.1 near the coast of the country, leading to the evacuation of thousands of residents of ??the North Island’s coastal area before a tsunami warning.

Auckland residents were confined Feb. 27 after a case of Covid-19 of unknown origin was detected in a person who, after undergoing a test to detect the virus the day before, went to the gym and other public places.

This confinement, which only allowed people to leave for essential jobs, followed a previous three-day confinement imposed in mid-February in Auckland to try to stop the infections attributed to the so-called British strain.

New Zealand has registered 2,389 confirmed and probable Covid-19 infections since the pandemic began, 68 of which are active and are registered mainly among international travelers, and 26 deaths. EFE-EPA


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