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New Zealand reports biggest rise in COVID-19 cases in six weeks

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Oct 14 (Reuters) – New Zealand reported on Thursday its biggest rise in COVID-19 infections in six weeks, with all cases detected in Auckland, elevating prospects of an additional extension of lockdown restrictions in the nation’s largest metropolis past subsequent week.

Some 1.7 million individuals in Auckland are below strict stay-home orders till Monday as officers look to stamp out the extremely infectious Delta outbreak, the primary main spate of neighborhood cases in the nation since early in the pandemic.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson mentioned the surge in case numbers in Auckland was not sudden “but they are rising more quickly,” and blamed unlawful residence gatherings for the spike.

“Now is not the time for complacency,” Robertson mentioned throughout a media convention in Wellington, urging residents in Auckland to strictly comply with the level-three guidelines, below which most individuals are required to remain at residence except they’ve pressing causes to exit.

A complete of 71 new native cases have been reported in the nation, all detected in Auckland, up from 55 a day earlier.

“Today’s new case numbers are sobering but not unexpected because of where we are in the outbreak,” Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay mentioned.

About 2.49 million New Zealanders have been absolutely vaccinated, or about 59% of the eligible inhabitants, with officers promising to finish lockdowns as soon as 90% are vaccinated. Officials need to administer a document 100,000 doses in a single day throughout a mass immunisation drive on Saturday.

Even with the Delta outbreak, New Zealand has recorded solely 4,472 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 28 deaths in the course of the pandemic, far decrease than many comparable nations.

Reporting by Renju Jose in Sydney; Editing by Peter Cooney

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