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  • Updated: 3 months ago

New Zealand Extends Lockdown As COVID-19 Cluster Continues To Grow

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Bolanle Akinlade

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New Zealand is set to extend its nationwide lockdown for another four days as it battles a fresh COVID-19 outbreak.

The country reported 35 new cases of community transmitted COVID-19 on Monday, taking a cluster discovered in Auckland to 107 in total.

New Zealand was put in a hard lockdown within hours of a single case being detected on Tuesday, with all schools and non-essential businesses closed.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country had some ways to go yet and officials were taking a cautious approach to easing restrictions.

“We need more information. We don’t want to take any risks with Delta. If the world has taught us anything, it’s to be cautious with this variant,’’ Ardern said.

The entire country would remain in lock-down until at least Saturday.

Auckland, the country’s largest city and where most of the cases were located would remain under lockdown until at least August 31.

“We don’t yet believe we’ve reached the peak of this outbreak, or indeed the edges of it,” Ardern said.

It is the first nationwide lock-down in New Zealand since March 2020, where the entire country was at the highest level of restrictions for six weeks.

The country, with a population of five million, has reported about 2,700 cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic with 26 deaths. 

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