New Zealand reported 41 new community cases of Delta variant of Covid-19 on Tuesday, of which 38 are from Auckland and three are from Wellington.
The total number of cases in the country’s community outbreak reached 148, reports Xinhua news agency.
Of these 41 new cases, 19 are female and 22 are male. Thirty-one of these are Pacific peoples, three are Asian and seven are European, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told a press conference.
The total number of community cases in Auckland, the country’s largest city, is now 137, and 11 are in the capital Wellington, Bloomfield said.
All of the cases have or are being transferred safely to a managed isolation facility, under strict infection prevention and control procedures, including the use of full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), he said.
“As previously indicated, it’s not unexpected to see a rise in daily case numbers at this stage. At its peak last year, New Zealand had a daily total of 89 new cases,” he added.
There are currently nine hospitalizations, of which eight are associated with the current outbreak, Bloomfield said.
Of the 148 cases in the cluster, 89 are already epidemiologically linked to other community cases identified in the outbreak. Investigations are continuing to determine whether and how the remaining 59 cases are linked to the outbreak, he said.
New Zealand will remain at the top level 4 national lockdown until midnight Friday, subject to another review on that day. The country has moved to a lockdown since midnight August 17 after the first Covid-19 Delta variant case in the Auckland community was identified.
Under the Alert Level 4 lockdown, businesses and schools are closed except for essential ones such as supermarkets, pharmacies and service stations.
Delta is like dealing with “a whole new virus,” Bloomfield said, adding that it is critical people follow the rules.
Businesses, organisations and self-employed people affected by the lockdown can apply online for the Covid-19 Resurgence Support Payment (RSP), Wage Subsidy Scheme, and the Covid-19 Short-Term Absence Payment.
“There is no shortage of funding here,” Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said at the press conference, stressing “our economy is resilient.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand reported one new case in recent returnees in a managed isolation facility, whose full travel history is yet to be confirmed. The case has remained in a managed isolation and quarantine facility in Auckland, said a Ministry of Health statement.
The total number of active cases being managed in New Zealand is currently 183, and the total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic is 2,740, it said.