NZ still has ‘broad control’ of Auckland covid outbreak, says Ardern

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Otara and Clover Park covid testing sites
Both the Otara and Clover Park covid testing sites in South Auckland appeared to be near empty yesterday. While staff wouldn’t provide exact numbers, they said few people were turning up to get swabbed. Image: David White/Stuff/RNZ Pool

RNZ News

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the New Zealand government still has “broad control” of the covid-19 delta outbreak in Auckland.

Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield rep0rted at today’s latest government briefing that there were 19 community cases
— far less than half the previous day.

However, while yesterday’s total of 45 new community cases in Auckland was the highest it had been in some weeks, just four remained unlinked, Dr Bloomfield said.

On Tuesday, new covid community cases had dropped to just eight.

Ardern said there was broad control of the outbreak, and “control is key”.

“We simply do not have enough people vaccinated in Auckland or in New Zealand to tolerate a widespread outbreak but maintaining control is not a given,” she said.

“We still need the restrictions that we’re using, I know they’re incredibly hard and they will ease but for now they’re doing a job for us that’s why we need people to keep following them.”

Two new sub-clusters
Dr Bloomfield said there were now two new sub-clusters in the city.

“One of which they’re calling the Southeast Auckland household cluster – there are five households in that one – and then there’s one just identified, the West Auckland cluster.

“It’s those two sub-clusters that are really giving rise to the new cases at the moment.

“So of the other ones that were active only none of those have actually had new cases in the last few days.”

Watch the update here:

Today’s New Zealand government covid media briefing. Video: RNZ News

Ardern said it was highly likely the boundary around the Auckland region would remain, even if restrictions were eased. The government was giving full consideration to easing restrictions, but removing the regional boundary was not under consideration.

Cabinet is set to review the country’s alert level settings on Monday.

“We are giving full consideration to easing [alert level restrictions], but there’s a number of ways we can consider that. What is not in consideration is removing that regional boundary at this time.”

83 percent of eligible Aucklanders get first dose
Ardern said only 3 percent of cases in this outbreak were fully vaccinated, with 83 percent of eligible Aucklanders now having received the first dose of the vaccine.

About 80 percent of the eligible population nationwide had either had its first dose or had booked in for the first dose.

Nationally, 92 percent of over 65s have had their first covid vaccine and nearly 90 percent have either had or are booked in to have this second.

“It is possible to hit 90 [percent] and we need everyone to put that effort in,” Ardern said.

“We can be world-leading in getting our population vaccinated.”

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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