New Zealand reports 109 new cases of Covid Delta variant

Wellington, Oct 25 (IANS): New Zealand reported 109 new Delta variant cases of Covid-19 in the community on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country's community outbreak to 2,681.

A total of 103 of the new infections were recorded in the largest city of Auckland, four in nearby Waikato and two in Northland, according to the Ministry of Health, Xinhua news agency reported.

Thirty-five community cases are being treated in hospitals, including five in intensive care units or high dependency units, said a ministry statement.

There are 2,314 infections that have been epidemiologically linked to another case or a sub-cluster, and a further 307 cases for which links are yet to be fully established, he said.

New Zealand also reported two new cases identified at the border among recent returnees. The cases have remained in quarantine in Christchurch.

The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand since the start of the pandemic stands at 5,389, according to the health ministry.

New Zealand on Friday outlined its new Covid-19 protection framework to deliver greater freedom for vaccinated Kiwis, which is more flexible than the current alert level system.

The simplified framework has three levels -- green, orange and red. Vaccine certificates will provide greater freedom at each level.

The new Covid-19 protection framework provides a pathway out of lockdown and for businesses and events to re-open to vaccinated New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a press conference.

About 68 per cent of New Zealanders are fully vaccinated at the moment, while 86 per cent have received at least one dose, statistics showed.



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