On Friday New Zealand extended national lockdown for four more days the surging cases of coronavirus disease and warned that restrictions might last longer in the infection epicentre of Auckland.The lockdown was first imposed on August 17 and was supposed to end on Friday.
According to news agency AFP, the Delta cluster of the coronavirus emerged in Auckland the last week, which ended a six-month period without any local transmission that made New Zealand one of the world’s last Covid-free zones .
A cabinet meeting in Wellington on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the Level 4 lockdown will remain in place till August 31 midnight.
“We may be seeing the beginning of a plateau in cases,” Ardern said. “Our job is to keep up the hard work in order to bend and then flatten that curve. We have evidence that what we are doing is working, but caution is still required,” she added.
Most resident must still remain at home during level 3 but some business such as restaurants and retail outlets can reopen using contactless collections method .
The government has still advised people to stay at home and work from home under this level. Gatherings are only restricted to 10 people while shops, daycare centres, schools and public venues are closed.
Arden has gained global recognition for reducing the spread of Covid-19 in New Zealand. But Reuters reported on Tuesday that questions have been raised regarding her reliance on stringent border controls and snap lockdowns, which have impacted the economy.
On Friday, New Zealand reported 70 new cases, which took the total infections the outbreak of the Delta variant to 347. While on Tuesday, the country recorded its highest single-day spike since April when 41 people were detected as Covid-19 positive.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday that “Delta is definitely more infectious, and it moves moents re quickly,” adding that Level 4 lockdown is the most effective tool at the present moment.