The largest city in New Zealand is set for an extra week of lockdown following a further outbreak of Covid-19 cases.
IN a year which been described as “frankly terrible” by New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, 2020 sees Covid-19 continue to run rampant across the world, with New Zealand suffering from another 101 cases in Southern Auckland.
“If it feels hard – that’s because it has been,” she said. “But let’s also remember, in a world where 2020 has frankly been terrible, we are strong, we have been kind, and we are doing really well.”
The recent outbreak in cases appears to be the largest single outbreak in New Zealand, meaning that the government has had to act quickly.
Auckland will now remain in lockdown until midnight on Sunday, August 30, with the threat being determined a necessity, Jacinda Ardern adding, “the extra four days [are] necessitated by the rising number of Covid-19 cases.”
With the quarantine being extended, there is hope of better containment of the virus, with the Prime Minister commenting on the recent outbreak, “This is a contained cluster. But it is our biggest one. And that means the tail will be long, and the cases will keep coming for a while to come,” she said.
Before this outbreak, the Prime Minister had successfully navigated New Zealand through an extended period of non-activity in Covid-19 cases, added, “If it weren’t for level three, this cluster would be exponential, of that I have no doubt.”
It is viewed the current level of restrictions, and quick lockdown actions, are what stopped the number of infected from rising past 101 in the recent outbreak, with the Prime Minister explaining, “the cluster would have been significantly bigger if level three restrictions had not been imposed so quickly, as people had become infected at churches, shopping centres and on public buses.”
However, frustrations are growing in Auckland, with anti-lockdown protests happening in the city over the weekend. It also appears that lockdown adherence will not be met with the same respect as it was previously, with protesters voicing their concern that their human rights are being breached.
“The first lockdown was accompanied by an increase in anxiety for some, the recent return to level three seemed to bring with it a collective downturn in mood,” said Dr Dougal Sutherland, a clinical psychologist at Victoria University of Wellington.
“The government announcement today could further erode our collective sense of hope,” he concluded.
The Prime Minister, also announced that the mandatory use of masks will return to public transport as a country-wide rule as the government try to get the recent outbreak in Covid-19 cases back under control.