New Zealand, a country that had managed to keep the coronavirus at bay when most developed and developing countries were experiencing a peak of infections, has reported its second-worst day of daily infections since the pandemic began. The country recorded 109 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases, most of which are in Auckland. 

The country which recorded only 28 COVID deaths during the pandemic and used to be the poster child for stamping out COVID-19, has been unable to beat an outbreak of the Delta variant, despite Auckland remaining under a strict lockdown for more than two months. 

Over the weekend, another worrying news emerged as the country also reported its first community case of the virus in its South Island in a year, although health officials have said that the risks of a further spread from the case remains low.  

What you should know

As a result of the spike in cases, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern has resolved to abandon the elimination strategy and focus on living with the virus as health officials have warned of an uptick in cases until vaccinations ramp up. 

As at the time of writing this article, only 71 per cent of New Zealanders who are eligible have been fully inoculated, including 77 per cent of Aucklanders. 

According to the Ministry of Health, 87 per cent of the eligible population has received one dose. In addition, New Zealand has said it would end its strict lockdown measures and restore more freedoms only when 90 per cent of its eligible population has been fully vaccinated. 

Currently, the number of cases in the recent outbreak has reached 2,681 and New Zealand has recorded 28 coronavirus-related deaths so far in the pandemic.