New Zealand extends coronavirus lockdown in Auckland
18 Oct 2021
A medical staff member tests a shopper at a supermarket carpark in Christchurch, New Zealand. AP
Gulf Today Report
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that the country's biggest city Auckland will remain in lockdown for another two weeks as it looks to control the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
There will be no changes in the social restrictions that have already been in place for over two months in Auckland under alert level 3, Ardern said at a news conference.
Earlier, New Zealand health care workers administered a record number of vaccine jabs on Saturday as the nation held a festival aimed at getting more people inoculated against the coronavirus.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends a meeting.
Musicians, sports stars and celebrities pitched in for the "Vaxathon” event, which was broadcast on television and online for eight hours straight. By late afternoon, more than 120,000 people had gotten shots, eclipsing the daily record of 93,000 set in August.
A throwback to TV fundraising "telethon” events that were popular from the 1970s through the 1990s, it comes as New Zealand faces its biggest threat since the pandemic began, with an outbreak of the Delta variant spreading through the largest city of Auckland and beyond.
Ardern, who chatted with motorists at a drive-through vaccination centre in Wellington, initially set a target of 100,000 jabs for the day but upped that to 150,000 after the first target was met.
She also set a target of 25,000 shots for the indigenous Maori, whose vaccination numbers have been lagging and who have been hit hard by the latest outbreak.