Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is set to announce Cabinet’s decision on when Auckland can shift from alert level 2 as well as the plan for the rest of the country.
The prime minister will be joined at the briefing by Health Minister Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
Latest from live update:
- Dr Bloomfield says there are five new cases – two in managed isolation. All three community cases are linked to the South Auckland cluster.
- The two in quarantine are children who came from India.
- Six people are in hospital, four are on the ward, two are in ICU.
- There are 112 cases of Covid-19 in the country at present.
- So far 3191 close contacts of the Auckland cluster have been identified, 3136 have been contacted.
- The Covid-19 app is being used by 2,000,0088 people.
- Jacinda Ardern says the current cluster is contained and there is no need to go to alert level 3.
- Caution is still required, however, the prime minister said.
Another 30 cases have been identified since Auckland moved to 2.5.Genome testing has ensured we know they are all part of the same cluster.
Containment of the cluster, compliance to the rules and the impact of restrictions were considered by Cabinet.“The best economic response becomes the best health response,” Ardern said.
Because the source of the Auckland cluster is still not identified, it gives the government cause to be cautious, she said.The greatest period of risk is at the weekend, she said, and it was still necessary to take a cautious approach.The current levels will be retained and will be reviewed on Monday 14 September, she said.
- There was still a risk of spread to other parts of the country, such as happened in Tokoroa, which was a good reason to maintain the rest of the country on alert level 2.
“The reality is …that we will need to be dealing with it (the virus) in a number of ways.”Melbourne still provides a striking example of moving too quickly.She urged Aucklanders to be cautious this weekend.“We are on the most perilous part of our journey…”
A testing station will shortly be available at Botany Town Centre and places of worship, she said. There will also be health professionals available at the domestic terminal at Auckland Airport.Police will also be highly visible in the community to enforce the rules over the weekend, Ardern said.
Half of NZ is now using the QR posters, she said, and it was pleasing to see the widespread use of masks.“So let’s double down our efforts,” she said.
- Cabinet did not want to move from current alert levels, Ardern said. There was some discussion about moving the South Island to alert level 1, but ultimately we are a very mobile country so it was best to have limitations.
Watch the media conference live here:
The Auckland region is at alert level 2.5 which is due to expire on Sunday. At present Aucklanders can travel outside the region, though social gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people, with 50 allowed for authorised funerals and tangihanga. The rest of the country is at level 2.
Source: rnz.co.nz Republished by arrangement.