Officials discovered 94 new infections in the local area, more than the 89 reported two times during the initial days of the pandemic. This is well above the total of 89 cases that were reported earlier in the year. The majority of new cases were located in Auckland, with seven in Waikato.
Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, stated that lockdown rule-breakers are contributing to the spread and spread of infections. She also noted that many new cases were being detected in younger people.
Ardern stated, using the Indigenous Maori name Auckland, "I know the highs, and lows of cases are incredibly difficult on people," "I just wanted again to emphasize that we are not powerless. We have the ability keep these cases as low and manageable as possible.
New Zealand has successfully eliminated previous outbreaks through strict border controls, lockdowns and tight lockdowns. They also aggressively track and isolate those who are infected. The approach was ineffective against the more transmissible variant of the delta virus. Since then, some Auckland lockdown rules have been relaxed and more people can return to work.
Ardern also launched an effort to get everyone vaccinated. This included Saturday's televised Vaxathon festival, which attracted a record 130,000 people to get shots. That's more than 2% of New Zealand's 5 million population.
Ardern has committed to laying out a pathway for Auckland to escape lockdown based on vaccination statistics.
The government has spoken before about the importance to get 90% of all people over 12 fully vaccinated. This includes a large number of Maori who have been especially hard hit by this outbreak.
However, this goal is still far away with only 85% of eligible persons having received at least one dose and 67% being fully vaccinated. Maori have lower numbers.
Professor Michael Baker, an epidemiologist from the University of Otago said that he was worried about how quickly contact tracers in Auckland will become overwhelmed. He suggested that lawmakers consider temporarily reimposing tighter lockdown rules as circuit breaker.
Baker stated that there are "burning embers" all over the city. "They have lifted the heavy lockdown and people are suffering from lockdown fatigue."
Baker stated that he believed it was possible for government officials to eliminate the disease outside of Auckland provided they maintained strict border control.
He stated that the main goal of any reopening was to make sure the health system is not overwhelmed.
Officials from the Health Department said Tuesday that they have authorized patients with weak immune systems to receive a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and they recommend they do so.