New Zealand Extends National Lockdown Due To Delta Variant Outbreak

Though New Zealand was previously declared to be Covid-free in June, the outbreak of the Delta variant currently poses a new challenge to the country.

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today (23 Aug) that the country will be extending its Covid-19 lockdown.

Ms Ardern stated that this was the safest option to ensure the country’s well-being, especially with the Delta variant going rampant.

This announcement comes after the Covid-19 outbreak in the country exceeded more than 100 cases.

Over 100 Delta variant cases reported in New Zealand

New Zealand’s national lockdown began last Wednesday (18 Aug) after 1 case of Covid-19 was reported in Auckland. The lockdown was supposed to last for 3 days.

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However, today (23 Aug), the country announced that they would be extending their level 4 national lockdown till 27 Aug to curb the Delta variant, reports Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

Auckland will be under lockdown till 31 Aug since it is the epicentre of the outbreak.

According to Ms Ardern, many in the community have been in close contact with those infected with the Delta variant.

Source 

More than 320 locations of interest were linked to the outbreak, where 13,000 contacts have been recorded.

Lockdown is the safest option at the moment

With the Delta variant being even more infectious, Ms Arden mentioned that extending the lockdown is the safest option at the moment.

If the world has taught us anything, it is to be cautious with this variant of Covid-19.

Earlier today, New Zealand’s Health Ministry reported 35 new cases of Covid-19, with 33 in Auckland and 2 in Wellington.

The current number of Covid-19 cases in New Zealand caused by the Delta variant outbreak is 107.

Swift lockdown to contain the outbreak

Though the number of infected cases in New Zealand is not as high as in other countries, prevention is better than cure.

Their Prime Minister fully understands the stakes and hence, decided that the country should undergo a national lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Hopefully, the extension of the lockdown will allow New Zealand to contain the latest outbreak successfully.

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Featured image adapted from Sulthan Auliya on Unsplash and Robert Kitchin on Getty Images