New Zealand Covid strategy in ‘transition’, Ardern says, as Auckland awaits lockdown decision
As pressure mounts, prime minister says her aim was never to have zero cases but to aggressively stamp out the virus
New Zealand’s Covid-19 elimination strategy is undergoing a “transition”, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has said, marking the first time the government has signalled an imminent shift away from the ambitious approach that has largely kept the country free of the virus.
New Zealand has been struggling to stamp out an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant. Fifty new cases were reported over the weekend, including a truck driver who travelled to Palmerston North, about 500km from Auckland, while infectious. Another 29 cases were reported on Monday, with all but one in Auckland, bringing total cases in the outbreak to 1,314. A newborn baby in the maternity ward at North Shore hospital was one of the latest cases.