New Zealand announced 104 new cases of coronavirus today, including the first in almost a year of infection in the South Island community, health officials said.
Most of the new infections were recorded in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, which has been under severe lockdown for more than two months. In most of the rest of the country of 5 million people, looser restrictions apply.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand would end the strict lockdown measures and restore more freedoms only when 90% of the population that meets the relevant criteria is fully vaccinated. To date, this percentage reaches 70%.
The country, once a model for COVID-19, has failed to combat the outbreak of the highly contagious Auckland-centric Delta strain, forcing Ardern to abandon its anti-virus strategy and turn to measures that allow citizens to learn to live with the virus.
The number of cases in the current outbreak has reached 2.492 and New Zealand has recorded 28 deaths due to Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.