NZ Extends National Lockdown As Cases Grow To 100+

The New Zealand Herald reports:

New Zealand will stay in alert level 4 lockdown until at least midnight on Friday, and Auckland will stay locked down until at least midnight on Tuesday next week. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement at the Beehive this afternoon.

Cabinet decided to keep all of New Zealand in lockdown until 11.59pm this Friday, she said. That would allow additional data on how contained the outbreak was likely to be. The decision on Auckland’s lockdown will be reviewed on Monday next week.

Earlier today it was announced there are now 107 Covid cases in New Zealand, 99 of them in Auckland and eight in Wellington.

Bloomberg News reports:

The delta variant is testing New Zealand’s elimination strategy because it is so much more transmissible than the first iteration of the virus and has a shorter incubation period, giving contact tracers less time to find and isolate positive cases before they become infectious.

In neighboring Australia, which is also struggling to contain a delta outbreak, Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants to abandon his Covid-Zero strategy once 70% of the adult population is fully vaccinated.