New Zealand PM Ardern extends COVID-19 lockdown in Auckland

Monday, 2021-10-18 12:26:07
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New Zealand government now aims to have the country live with COVID-19 through higher inoculations.
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New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that the country's biggest city Auckland will remain in lockdown for another two weeks as it looks to control the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

There will be no changes in the social restrictions that have already been in place for over two months in Auckland under alert level 3, Ardern said at a news conference.

* New Zealand vaccinated at least 2.5% of its people on Saturday as the government tries to accelerate inoculations and live with COVID-19, preliminary health ministry data showed.

Through an array of strategies, gimmicks and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's encouragement through the day, 124,669 shots were administered by late in the day in a country of 4.9 million.

"We set a target for ourselves, Aotearoa, you've done it, but let's keep going," Ardern said, using a Maori name for New Zealand at a vaccination site, according to the Newshub news service. "Let's go for 150. Let's go big or go home."

New Zealand had stayed largely virus-free for most of the pandemic until an outbreak of the Delta variant in mid-August. The government now aims to have the country live with COVID-19 through higher inoculations.

Reuters