World

NZ extends lockdown in virus-hit Auckland, mystery cases a concern

WELLINGTON: New Zealand extended a strict lockdown in its largest city yesterday, requiring 1.7 million people living in Auckland to remain indoors for at least another week to snuff out the highly infectious Delta variant of coronavirus.

Health authorities recorded 33 cases of the Delta variant yesterday, all in Auckland, which was higher than 23 and 20 cases reported over the weekend.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the city's residents needed to abide by stay-at-home orders because of the emergence of several "mystery cases" which had not yet been linked to existing clusters.

"These mystery cases are still coming through, and the fact we are finding them through surveillance and community testing, rather than contact tracing, is what we are concerned about," she said. - REUTERS, AFP

WORLD