Jacinda Ardern has warned New Zealanders the worst of the Delta outbreak of Covid-19 is yet to come after another jump in cases.
New Zealand recorded 21 fresh community cases on Saturday, the country’s worst single day for transmission since April last year.
The outbreak remains centred on Auckland, 가지고 있는 45 cases overall, 와 18 new cases on Saturday. But it has spread south to the capital, Wellington, which has registered six cases overall and three new cases on Saturday.
The country is in day four of a national lockdown, which will probably need to be extended beyond the planned seven days.
The number of potential exposure sites has grown to more than 200, and the number of close contacts of existing cases exceeds 5,000.
The director general of public health, Caroline McElnay, said close contacts would exceed 10,000 by the end of Saturday.
Ardern reasoned with New Zealanders to remain calm as numbers spiked.
“The number of cases has grown again, but given the large number of locations of interest and what we know about Delta, this isn’t surprising," 그녀가 말했다.
“We’ve always said cases would rise before they fall. We do expect cases to continue to rise through to next week before they start falling away.”
Ardern said she was reticent to share “variable” modelling data, which might predict the peak of the outbreak.
그만큼 21 새로운 케이스 follow 11 more announced on Friday, including a patient at Auckland’s North Shore hospital, which forced the emergency care and short-stay surgical care departments to close, and a postal worker.
All cases have either been linked to the same source, or appear so, based on initial assessments.
The first case in the outbreak emerged in Auckland on Tuesday, prompting the government to put the entire country into a level-4 lockdown – the highest level of restrictions. Genome sequencing has linked the cluster to a returnee from Australia.
Since then some of the cases that have emerged include a high school teacher, students at two more high schools, a nurse at Auckland City hospital and an Air 뉴질랜드 cabin crew member.
A large proportion of the infected are young people under 30.
New Zealand has been lauded internationally and at home for its successful Covid-19 elimination strategy, enjoying 170 days without community transmission until Tuesday. Until this week it had not encountered Delta – the same variant that has pushed cases in Sydney beyond breaking point.
Despite strict lockdowns being met with surprise and criticism by some overseas figures, New Zealanders have consistently supported even the toughest anti-Covid measures. Both its own citizens and other countries will be watching to see if it can overcome the latest threat.
On Friday the country beat its own record for most vaccinations administered in a day: 56,843 or more than 1% 인구의.
However the country’s overall vaccination rate remains low, slipping behind Australia’s slow rollout. Just a third of Kiwis have had at least one jab and less than a fifth are fully vaccinated with two. It is relying upon Pfizer for its initial rollout, which it hopes to complete this year.
Ardern praised the most Covid-19 tests processed in a single day: 41,464.
“This is exactly what we need to do get on top of this outbreak, but also to prepare us for the future," 그녀가 말했다.
Her government will meet on Monday to decide its lockdown settings beyond Tuesday.