The Auckland lockdown has complicated several high-visibility sporting events planned in Auckland, Reuters reports. The organisers of the America’s Cup yacht race are reviewing plans for the head-to-head final between Italy and New Zealand.
New Zealand’s fourth Twenty20 International cricket match against Australia has been shifted to Wellington where it will be played behind closed doors on Friday.
New Zealand and neighbouring Australia have been highly successful in keeping the coronavirus pandemic from spreading through border closure, aggressive contact tracing and high community compliance with swift public health orders.
New Zealand, with a population of 5 million, has recorded just over 2,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic and 26 deaths.
Auckland lockdown begins
Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, woke up on Sunday morning to a second lockdown in a month as health authorities try to rein in a coronavirus cluster of the more contagious UK variant.
Reuters: The seven-day lockdown, announced late Saturday by prime minister Jacinda Ardern, follows a three-day stay-at-home order in mid-February after a local emergence of the UK variant of the new coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
Genomic sequencing of a new case recorded on Saturday, which prompted the lockdown, was linked to the existing cluster, health authorities said on Sunday, bringing it to 13 cases.
“It’s unlikely we wouldn’t see more cases,” Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins told the state-owned television network TVNZ on Sunday. “How many cases at this point we simply don’t know.”
The new case has been considered infectious for a week. The person, a 21-year-old student, visited a number of public spaces during that time.
The new lockdown, with level 3 restrictions, allows people to leave home only for essential shopping and essential work. Public venues will remain closed.
Restrictions in the rest of the country will be tightened to level 2, including limits on public gatherings.
Hello and welcome to today’s live global coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
I’m Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest for the next few hours.
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The US Food and Drug Administration has authorised Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine for emergency use, making it the third vaccine available to the US public.
Meanwhile Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, woke up on Sunday morning to a second lockdown in a month as health authorities try to rein in a coronavirus cluster of the more contagious UK variant.
Here are the other key recent developments:
- The UK recorded the lowest number of new cases in nearly five months on Saturday, although it still reported 7,434 new infections.
- Brazil for the fifth consecutive day registered over 1,300 deaths and 60,000 coronavirus cases on Saturday.
- The Australian state of Victoria has recorded no new Covid cases for the second day in a row.
- Wales has relaxed its coronavirus restrictions to allow households with a baby below the age of one to bubble with one other household.
- Three Irish police officers were injured in today’s anti-lockdown protest in Dublin, and up to 20 people were arrested.
- Schools in the occupied West Bank will shut down for 12 days in an effort to stop a sharp rise in coronavirus variant infections, Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Saturday.