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Ardern advised a press convention Tuesday authorities had been assuming it was the contagious Delta variant, though genome sequencing remains to be underway.

An unvaccinated 58-year-old man within the nation’s largest metropolis Auckland examined constructive for the virus. The man had traveled to different components of the nation, and had apparent hyperlink to the border, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield mentioned Tuesday.

New Zealand will likely be below the strictest degree lockdown degree for the subsequent three days ranging from 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, native time, Ardern mentioned. Under degree 4 lockdown, everybody should keep residence and companies are closed apart for important companies similar to supermarkets and pharmacies.

New Zealand was final below its most severe lockdown degree a 12 months in the past, Ardern mentioned.

Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula — an space of the nation’s North Island the place the affected person traveled — are more likely to be below a degree 4 lockdown for a week.

“We are one of the last countries in the world to have the Delta variant in our community,” Ardern mentioned. “We’re in the position to learn from experience overseas, and what actions work, and what actions don’t work.”

“Delta has been called a gamechanger — and it is. It means we need to again go hard and early to stop the spread. We have seen what can happen elsewhere if we fail to get on top of it. We only get one chance.”

New Zealand has been praised for its dealing with of the virus, which noticed it shut borders to nearly all overseas nationals early, and impose strict state-run quarantines on incoming vacationers.

That method has seen it keep away from the devastating outbreaks seen in different nations, and, previous to Tuesday’s announcement, life within the nation had largely returned to regular. New Zealand has reported fewer than 3,000 Covid-19 instances and solely 26 deaths in a inhabitants of about 5 million.

But New Zealand has been sluggish to vaccinate. According to information collated by CNN, New Zealand has absolutely immunized less than 20% of its population.

Neighboring Australia, which was additionally beforehand praised for its dealing with of the virus, has been battling its personal Delta outbreak for the previous few weeks. More than half of Australia’s inhabitants are in lockdown — and the nation’s most populous metropolis Sydney has been in lockdown since June.

Earlier this month, New Zealand introduced plans to start reopening its doorways to vaccinated vacationers from low danger nations from early 2022, signaling a tentative relaxation of strict pandemic border controls.

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