October 18. 2021. 5:28

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Auckland to remain under strict lockdown until September 21st

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a press conference at Parliament on Monday. Photograph: Getty Images

New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, will remain under the strictest type of lockdown until September 21st after the government reported 33 new Covid-19 infections.

The country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern said lockdown restrictions are working to eliminate the outbreak of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

“We don’t want to risk the sacrifices everyone has made and all the hard work you’ve put in by moving to Alert Level 3 too quickly,” Ms Ardern said, referring to a relaxation of Auckland’s Alert Level 4 restrictions.

The rest of New Zealand will remain on Alert Level 2 until next week because of the risk of Covid-19 spreading from Auckland, she added.

“While there is an outbreak in Auckland that continues to produce cases, there is risk,” Ms Ardern said.

Since last month, the nation has been battling an outbreak that came from Australia. The outbreak had grown to 955 cases by Monday with 21 infected patients in hospital and four in intensive care.

The government is pursuing an unusual strategy of trying to eliminate the virus entirely. – PA