New Zealand's COVID-19 cases jump as its battles Delta variant | Inquirer News
Close  

New Zealand’s COVID-19 cases jump as its battles Delta variant

/ 02:28 PM September 29, 2021
new zealand covid test

A medical worker administers a COVID-19 test at a testing clinic during a lockdown to curb the spread of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Auckland, New Zealand, August 26, 2021. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

WELLINGTON — New Zealand’s daily coronavirus cases jumped to their highest level in weeks on Wednesday, a setback to the South Pacific nation’s battle to eliminate the highly infectious Delta variant from its shores.

Health authorities reported 45 new cases, all in the biggest city, Auckland, taking the total number of cases in the current outbreak to 1,230.

ADVERTISEMENT

It’s much higher than the eight reported on Tuesday, and the highest number of daily cases since Sept 2.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins urged New Zealanders to stay calm, saying: “We do expect from time to time there will be blips.”

FEATURED STORIES

Hipkins said at least 33 of the new cases are known household or close contacts of existing cases and most have been isolating at home or in quarantine facilities while infectious.

“I would encourage people not to read too much into it. We are still aiming to run this into the ground,” Hipkins said at a news conference.

The continuing emergence of daily cases has raised questions whether New Zealand can eliminate the virus.

A top health official said last week that the country may never be back to zero cases again.

New Zealand eliminated COVID-19 last year and remained largely virus-free until an outbreak of the Delta variant in August led to a nationwide lockdown. Auckland has been in lockdown for over a month.

A delayed a vaccine rollout, however, means more people are at risk in the latest outbreak.

Ardern is now facing pressure from expatriate Kiwis and their families back home to drop her “zero tolerance” strategy and reopen borders.

ADVERTISEMENT

The opposition National Party said on Wednesday that it would end lockdowns and reopen borders before Christmas.

“Delta is here, it may not be possible to eliminate it, and it would almost inevitably arrive into the community again. Whatever happens, we need to reopen to the world and National’s plan outlines how we can do that,” National Party leader Judith Collins said.

Ardern has announced a phased reopening plan for early next year.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: COVID-19, Delta variant, Health, New Zealand
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.