WELLINGTON • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday deferred a decision on whether to ease a lockdown on the city of Auckland as 11 new coronavirus infections were reported, including nine cases of community transmission.
New Zealand’s biggest city was placed under lockdown earlier this month until Aug 26 amid a spike in new Covid-19 cases, forcing businesses to close and schools to shut.
Ms Ardern said after a review of the lockdown that there was no need to change any settings at this stage, and promised to review them again on Monday.
“We have made good progress. Unlike our first lockdown we are not dealing with multiple outbreaks,” she said.
“There is nothing to suggest we need to change our course and certainly nothing that suggests that we need to escalate our response.”
The latest cases brought the total number of Covid-19 infections in New Zealand to 1,315, including 105 active cases.
The country of five million people has so far reported 22 fatalities from Covid-19.
Ms Ardern also took aim at US President Donald Trump after he claimed there had been a massive breakout of coronavirus cases in New Zealand, his third such reference to the country this week.
The United States had 16,563 cases per million people, while New Zealand had 269 cases per million people, Ms Ardern said.
“Everyone can see that in New Zealand today we are talking about 11 cases, whereas the United States has been dealing with over 40,000 cases,” she said.
“But I’ll also add, it’s not just whether you have cases, it’s how you choose to deal with them as a nation and personally I am incredibly proud of the approach that all New Zealanders have taken to the battle against Covid-19.”