• Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

New Zealand's Covid-19 outbreak grows, as Australian cases ease

  • Published at 05:43 am August 16th, 2020
police check post in Auckland
Police and military personnel check vehicles leaving the city at a Covid-19 check point setup at the southern boundary, in Auckland on August 14, 2020 AFP

In neighbouring Australia, which has also been struggling with a resurgence of the coronavirus in two of its largest states

A new coronavirus outbreak in New Zealand is still growing, health officials said on Sunday, with the country that had an early triumph over the pandemic recording 13 new cases and putting the September general election in question.

After stifling the virus earlier this year before it became a public health crisis and after 102 days without new infections, an abrupt resurgence last week in Auckland prompted an immediate lockdown of the country's largest city.

Sunday's numbers bring New Zealand's total active cases to 69, providing more ammunition to a conservative opposition that wants to delay a September 19 general election, which opinion polls show Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party winning.

Ardern is expected to resist a delay but has said she will decide by Monday.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins told a media briefing on Sunday that the government was working to ensure adequate supplies of masks, which are currently recommended but not mandatory.

"We could make it compulsory and spend a lot of time on enforcement, what we need here is a cultural acceptance amongst all New Zealanders," Hipkins said.

In neighbouring Australia, which has also been struggling with a resurgence of the coronavirus in two of its largest states, New South Wales and Victoria, there were signs of a further downward trend.

New South Wales reported just five new cases, while Victoria, where masks became compulsory in July after the state became the centre of the country's largest outbreak, reported 279 new cases on Sunday, along with 16 more deaths.

The daily number of new cases this week has been well below the peak of 725 on August 5. Melbourne, the state's capital, remains under a strict lockdown.

Speaking before Victoria announced its daily tally, Australia's Health Minister Greg Hunt said the state still has a long way to go.

"But the signs now are that the trend is of progressive reduction," Hunt told Sky News television.

He also said the federal government is close to striking a deal that would permit the production of a vaccine in Australia, likely in 2021.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail