New Zealand reports 14 new Delta cases as largest city eases COVID-19 restrictions

Wellington, Sep 21 (UNI/Xinhua) New Zealand reported 14 new Delta cases on Tuesday as its largest city Auckland will relax restrictions from midnight by moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 for at least two weeks.
Tuesday’s new COVID-19 infections, all recorded in Auckland and its suburb, brought the total number of confirmed cases in the country’s community outbreak to 1,085, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told a press conference.
Auckland has remained at Level 4, the top-level COVID-19 lockdown, for more than 30 days, longer than last year’s lockdown, with schools and non-essential businesses closed.
Construction work and takeaway services can resume with necessary safety measures in place, while most students are encouraged to study at home.
The rest of the country will stay at Alert Level 2, which means businesses and schools are back to normal, with mask-wearing being mandatory in certain settings and gatherings limited to 50 people in size.
Currently in New Zealand, 15 community cases are being treated in hospital, including four in intensive care units (ICUs) or high dependency units (HDUs), Bloomfield said.
There are 1,054 cases that have been clearly epidemiologically-linked to another case or sub-cluster, and a further 10 cases for which links are yet to be fully established, he said.
The country also reported one historical case in recent returnees. The case has remained in quarantine in Christchurch, according to the health ministry.
The total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand since the start of the pandemic stands currently at 3,739, Bloomfield said.


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