The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have disclosed on Monday that New Zealand will begin to move away from a zero-Covid strategy toward living with the deadly coronavirus virus.
At the moment, the country which has the lowest case numbers has become the latest to abandon its elimination attempts as the Delta variant spreads, CNN reports.
According to data a from Johns Hopkins University, after shutting its borders early in the pandemic, New Zealand has reported just 4,409 Covid-19 infections and 27 deaths.
The city of Auckland is one of the places that was hit with the Delta strain outbreak in August lockdown.
Meanwhile, New Zealand reported 24 new cases in the community on Tuesday despite the city enduring more than six weeks of restrictions on movement. This has been the majority found in Auckland.
The tensity of the situation has triggered comments from Ardern as she admitted Monday the virus was a tentacle that has been incredibly hard to shake
In her words, “To date we’ve managed to largely control the outbreak, but as you can see with this outbreak and with Delta, the return to zero is incredibly difficult,” she said, adding that long periods of tough restrictions had been unable to sufficiently reduce infections.
Ardern said while the transition to living with the virus was always a move New Zealand was going to make, the Delta variant had “accelerated” the change. The New Zealand leader didn’t say exactly when the transition from the zero-Covid strategy would begin, but she emphasized the country was “not there yet.”