Mon, 18 Oct 2021

WELLINGTON, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand reported 12 new Delta variant cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country's community outbreak to 1,160.

The new infections were all recorded in the largest city Auckland, according to the Ministry of Health.

Thirteen community cases are being treated in hospitals, including four in intensive care units (ICUs) or high dependency units (HDUs), a ministry statement said.

There are 1,148 cases that have been clearly epidemiologically linked to another case or sub-cluster, and a further seven cases for which links are yet to be fully established, it said.

Auckland relaxed restrictions by moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 on Sept. 22 for at least two weeks. The city was previously 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.

Under Alert Level 3, construction work and takeaway services can resume with necessary safety measures in place, while most students are still encouraged to study at home.

The rest of the country stays at Alert Level 2, under which businesses and schools are back to normal, with mask-wearing being mandatory in certain settings and gatherings limited to 50 people in size.

The total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand since the start of the pandemic was 3,838, according to the ministry.

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