New Zealand Extends National COVID-19 Lockdown For Second Time

The government of New Zealand has extended its national COVID-19 lockdown for the second time, with a new conclusion date of Aug. 27 for the country and Aug. 31 for Auckland, its largest city.

What Happened: The original lockdown began Aug. 18 after a single case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Auckland. That lockdown was slated to run for three days, but it was extended by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to Aug. 24 after authorities uncovered another 30 active cases.

“There are 41 new cases of COVID-19 in the New Zealand community to confirm today,” said New Zealand’s Ministry of Health in a statement issued Tuesday morning. “This brings the total number of cases in the community outbreak to 148.”

However, the total number of COVID-19 cases is limited to two cities: 137 cases in Auckland and 11 in the capital city of Wellington. There are currently nine people in the hospital with COVID, of which eight are from the new outbreak.

Related Link: JetBlue Passenger Fined $45K For Sticking His Head Up Flight Attendant's Skirt

What Else Happened: According to a report from the New Zealand media site Newsroom, Ardern has identified the source of the new COVID infections as a traveler returning from Sydney, Australia, in early August. Genomic sequencing from the current cluster resulted in a “close match” with the person in question.

The Associated Press reported Ardern also used the lockdown to call for suspending parliamentary sessions for a week, which has brought complaints from opposition party leaders.

“At a time when New Zealanders have the harshest lockdown in the world and have lost our freedoms because of the government’s failure to vaccinate and secure the border, this move by Jacinda Ardern is unfathomable,” said Judith Collins, the leader of the New Zealand National Party.

Photo: Leeroy Agency from Pixabay.

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