New Zealand reports 5 new coronavirus cases

Wellington, Sep 4 (IANS) New Zealand reported five new coronavirus cases on Friday, with the whole country remaining at the current alert level restrictions for a further one and half week.

Of the five new cases, two were children from the same family who arrived from India on August 23 and were currently at the Auckland quarantine facility, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told a daily briefing.

The other three cases are epidemiologically linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Church cluster, which is known to be linked to the wider Auckland family cluster, Xinhua news agency reported.

Presently, there are six people with Covid-19 in hospital, including two in ICU, Bloomfield said.

There are eight previously reported cases who are considered to have recovered.

With the five new cases, the country's total number of active cases is 112. Of those, 37 are imported cases in managed isolation facilities, and 75 are community cases, he said.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in New Zealand is now 1,413.

New Zealand will remain under the Covid-19 Alert Level 2, while and Auckland will be at Alert Level 2.5 till September 14 when further decisions will be made, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at the press conference.

While stressing a cautious approach as necessary, Ardern said: “The best economic response remains a strong health response.”

Auckland's Alert Level 2.5 means social gatherings must be restricted to 10 or fewer people, and funerals may have up to 50 people, while Alert Level 2 for the rest of the country means social gatherings need to be less than 100 people, with social distancing and hygiene rules.

Face coverings such as masks became compulsory on public transport across New Zealand from August 31.



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