New Zealand records biggest rise in cases

New Zealand has recorded 62 locally acquired cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, as the country’s health officials attempt to contain the spread of the Delta variant and return to zero community cases.

The new infections, including 61 in Auckland and one in Wellington, takes New Zealand’s outbreak to 210 active cases, with Wednesday marking the biggest daily rise in infections.

Health director general Ashley Bloomfield said the case numbers show steady, but not exponential growth and that New Zealand remained committed to its elimination strategy.

Dr Bloomfield told reporters that health officials “will get a much clearer picture by tomorrow of whether people had been infected in the community since the lockdown began”.

While the lockdown in Auckland will remain until at least August 31, the government is considering the extension of a nationwide lockdown which is due to be reviewed by Friday.

Dr Bloomfield said New Zealand had never had a split of Level 4 and Level 3 lockdowns in different regions, flagging the easing of restrictions outside of Auckland.

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