New Zealand’s 206 new daily group infections on Saturday pushed the country’s total number of coronavirus infections beyond the double-digit level for the first time during the epidemic, as the country scrambles to vaccine its population of 5 million.
Auckland, New Zealand’s most populated city, which has reported 200 of the brand new cases, has been under COVID-19 restrictions for over three months as it fights an epidemic of the virulent Delta form, but limits are expected to be lifted on Monday.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that she wanted Auckland people to be able to travel throughout the summer season in the southern hemisphere and at Christmas time, among other things.
“We are not going to detain Aucklanders who are not physically present in Auckland throughout that time period – we simply cannot do this,” Ardern said at a press conference after the national convention of her Labour Party.
The incidents on Saturday served to remind people of the necessity of vaccination as the most effective form of protection against the virus, according to a statement from the health ministry.
According to the report, 78 percent of New Zealanders aged 12 and above have received a complete vaccination, with 89 percent having received a first dose by Friday.
New Zealand, which was once hailed throughout the world for putting an end to COVID-19, has been unable to contain the Delta epidemic in Auckland, prompting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to forgo a plan of eradicating the virus in favour of attempting to live with it.
Despite this, it has fared significantly better than many other nations, thanks to strict controls that have restricted the number of illnesses to slightly under 7,000 and the death toll to 31.