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New Zealand extends lockdown after more COVID-19 cases identified

August 20th, 2021
Queues for a COVID testing station during Level 4 lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic in Wellington, New Zealand – 20 Aug 2021.
Photo by Dave Lintott/Shutterstock

New Zealand will extend a nationwide lockdown for four more days after uncovering several locally transmitted COVID-19 cases.

On Tuesday the lockdown began after a single infection, the country’s first locally transmitted case since February, was diagnosed.

That patient was found to have contracted the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Authorities have since uncovered another 30 active cases, including 11 locally transmitted infections that were announced on Friday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the lockdown will give contact tracers a chance to assess how much of the country has been impacted by the coronavirus’ spread out of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, and where the first patient was identified. Some cases have also been discovered in the capital, Wellington.

The extension will last until at least Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. Ardern says authorities will reevaluate the situation on Monday.

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