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New Zealand on Friday extended a lockdown of it's largest city Auckland by at least 12 days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced, as authorities struggled with a growing new coronavirus outbreak.
"Cabinet has agreed to maintain our current settings for an additional 12 days, bringing us to a full two weeks in total," Ardern said.
Since four people tested positive on Tuesday -- the first cases in community transmission in 102 days -New Zealand has detected a cluster of 30 virus cases.
Most of those cases have been found around Auckland, a city of 1.5 million people who have been asked to stay at home.
Worryingly, two of the infections were found in the town of Tokoroa, around 210 kilometres (130 miles) south of Auckland.
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Authorities are still struggling to find out how the virus came to return to New Zealand, which had earned global praise for its handling of the crisis.
Ardern said that genetic testing had shown no link between this outbreak and cases in quarantined arrivals from overseas, or from the first wave of cases.
But she voiced optimism that the latest outbreak had been quickly detected and could be brought to heel.
"There are signs we have found this outbreak relatively early in its life," she said.
"Extensive testing and contact tracing" had determined the earliest case becoming sick around July 31.
Throwing preparations for their five-match tour into turmoil and causing a scare in a country that has largely eradicated the virus, hosts New Zealand Cricket said on Thursday.
New Zealanders are so lucky. For the rest of us, pre coronavirus days seem like they belong to another era. To be able to go close to another human being and not fear them is such a luxury. Strangely, it is these little things that we have taken for granted until the virus showed us the little but important things that keep us sane (“Ardern performs a jig after NZ eliminates coronavirus,” June 9, Gulf Today).
Where there’s a will there’s a way. New Zealand has become one of the first countries in the world to return to pre-pandemic normality and that’s indeed a hugely encouraging signal.
The rate of new coronavirus cases has abated significantly in both countries without straining the capacity of their health systems. New Zealand has enforced a wide-ranging lockdown and Australia is also tightly restricting many activities.
The meeting in the city of Yevlakh, more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) west of the capital Baku, comes as the UN Security Council holds an emergency session on the fighting which broke out this week.
Blasts were heard in Kyiv and the surrounding region after an air raid alert, Reuters witnesses said. Authorities reported sending rescue teams to several locations in the capital.
In this context, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed held bilateral meetings with Rashad Al-Alimi, the President of Yemen and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, His Excellency Elmedin Konaković.
Set to be held from 26-27 September 2023, the region’s largest gathering for media professionals will focus on the influence of artificial intelligence on the media and the broader creative landscape and the critical need for the world to commit to sustainability.