Cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand have dropped, a hopeful sign as Auckland enters what the government has planned to be its last week of a level 4 lockdown.
Yesterday, the country confirmed 15 new cases — half of Monday’s 33 new cases.
At this stage of the outbreak, the government is particularly attentive to how many of those cases are clearly linked to existing infections, as unlinked cases could indicate that the virus is spreading unchecked through the community.
Yesterday’s cases were household contacts of existing cases, New Zealand Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said, and the total number of cases that remain unlinked across the outbreak is down to 10, from 17 on Monday.
The Auckland region is in its fourth week of a level four lockdown, the strictest level. The rest of the country left lockdown last week.
The government had made an “in principle” decision that Auckland would next week shift the alert from level four to level three, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.
She also announced that the country would be launching “Mr Whippy-style” mobile vaccination clinics on buses, beginning in Northland, to try to reach communities where vaccines were less accessible.
“In Australia they’ve started operating something similar and have named the mobile outreach clinics ‘Jabba the Bus,’” Ardern said. “I’m sure that we can do better. We have some frontrunners: ‘Double Jab Ute,’ and ‘The Jabbin’ Wagon.’”
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