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31 Aug 2021

New Zealand: Cases Drop amid Nationwide Lockdowns

New Zealand: Cases Drop amid Nationwide Lockdowns

The Index Today

New Covid cases have dropped down for two consecutive days amid tight lockdowns in New Zealand. The country reported new cases have fallen down to 49 after an unexpected covid outbreak that occurred this month. The country was back in lockdown on August 17th.

New Zealand is among the few countries which have managed to remain coronavirus-free for many months. Reports have mentioned that the new outbreak was due to the delta variant being imported from Australia.

The city of Auckland reported 597 cases whereas Wellington reported only 15 new cases, bringing the total up to 612. However, the number of cases is currently in decline mainly due to restrictions placed throughout the nation. These social restrictions are helping to reduce the spread of the virus.

It is expected that the strict 4-level lockdown will remain for another 2 weeks in Auckland where the cases are substantially higher. The rest of the country may see ease in social restriction starting from Wednesday.

Checkpoints have been placed around the city and the outskirts to make sure no non-essential movement takes place. Police have also made arrests after an anti-lockdown protest took place throughout the city.

The latest Delta outbreak has hospitalized 33 people so far, with some still in intensive care. The Director of General Health Ashley Bloomfield said that restrictions have helped reduce the spread of the virus as cases continue to show a decline.

The country however is under criticism for having a slow vaccine rollout with only a quarter of the population being vaccinated so far. Other problems highlighted include inflated prices and closing of international borders while the country heavily relies on an immigrant workforce.