Cyprus Mail
OceaniaWorld

N. Zealand’s daily cases cross 200 for first time

file photo: new zealand holds a covid 19 single day vaccination drive, seen in auckland
A member of the public receives a Pfizer vaccine

New Zealand’s 206 new daily community infections on Saturday carried it past the double-hundred mark for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic, as the nation scrambles to vaccinate its population of 5 million.

The most populous city of Auckland, which reported 200 of the new cases, has lived under COVID-19 curbs for nearly three months as it battles an outbreak of the infectious Delta variant, although restrictions are expected to ease on Monday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she wanted Auckland residents to be able to travel for the southern hemisphere summer and Christmas.

“We will not keep Aucklanders isolated to Auckland through that period – we simply cannot do that,” Ardern told a news conference at the national gathering of her Labour Party.

Saturday’s cases served to remind people of the importance of vaccination as the number one protection against the virus, the health ministry said in a statement.

It said 78% of New Zealanders aged 12 and above had been fully vaccinated, while 89% had a first dose by Friday.

Once praised globally for stamping out COVID-19, New Zealand has been unable to vanquish the Delta outbreak in Auckland, forcing Ardern to abandon a strategy of eliminating the virus in favour of efforts to live with it.

Still, it has fared far better than many other countries, with tough curbs that kept infections to just under 7,000 and a toll of 31 deaths.

Related Posts

Trump refuses to answer questions in NY attorney general probe

Reuters News Service

UK urges water companies to take ‘precautionary steps’ to protect supplies

Reuters News Service

Ukraine calls on EU, G7 states to stop issuing visas to Russians

Reuters News Service

China calls US ‘main instigator’ of Ukraine crisis

Reuters News Service

Indian companies swapping dollar for Asian currencies to buy Russian coal

Reuters News Service

Mendy pleads not guilty to further count of rape

Press Association