New Zealand probing for outbreak source; may extend lockdown

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says the country is prepared for the worst

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says the country is prepared for the worst

Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said rigorous testing is being carried out "as part of our investigation just to follow that chain of the Americold goods that might have come in through the port and been transported to that Mount Wellington depot".

Ms Ardern said the genomic sequence of the virus from the current outbreak is not the same as that from community cases recorded during the country's first outbreak. Anyone who has travelled from Auckland in the last two weeks should self-isolate as much as possible.

Goff was anxious to know what plans the Government had to quickly and effectively ramp up contact tracing in the event of a community outbreak, noting testing had fallen away in the absence of community transmission.

Ms Ardern said the extension of the lockdowns would buy authorities more time to stop the Auckland cluster from growing.

There are 1,251 confirmed cases, 38 of which are active, and 30 of which are linked to the cluster. Authorities had also identified one other probable case, Bloomfield said, in which connections still had to be traced.

"A mobile testing unit went to the homes of symptomatic people from the Mount Wellington site yesterday and further testing is underway".

Level results: ‘No substitute for exams’ says Education Secretary
But Mr Baron said "that the statistical process has proved to be far too blunt an instrument and has created clear injustices". He added that predicted grades from teachers in previous years had indicated an "overconfidence" in some pupils.

Officials believe an imported strain of the virus is responsible for the country's first outbreak in three months, but are still investigating how the family was infected.

"Not everyone in a team is on the field at the same time, and you know, some of us now are on the sidelines, really rooting for those who are experiencing that level of restriction".

China has reported instances of coronavirus being detected on the packaging of imported frozen seafood.

He said two of the infections were found in the North Island town of Tokoroa, around 210 kilometres south of Auckland.

Two of the 13 new cases are in Tokoroa.

"We will use what tools we have to protect jobs, incomes and businesses, as well as people's health", she said.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin to meet Boris Johnson in Northern Ireland today
Sinn Féin's vice-president said it was important that republicans engaged in the debate around partition and looked to the future. Ahead of his trip he recognised how the close working between Westminster and Stormont had been vital during the Pandemic.

People in the city of Auckland will be required to mostly stay home for another 12 days.

As of midday on Wednesday, new rules are in place.

Grant Robertson said the Government has decided that the extended wage subsidy will apply nationwide, particularly given the significance of Auckland's economy to the wider country, and due to the impact Alert Level 2 would have on sectors like hospitality and retail.

He pointed out that pharmacies would remain open.

"There are still impacts that will ripple through New Zealand - public events being cancelled, people visiting cafes and restaurants and retail outlets less frequently, and it's likely that inter-regional travel will also continue to tail off for a while (where it is permitted)". For the rest of the country, mass gatherings are now limited to 100 people.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is keen to quash the outbreak.

Australian unemployment ticks up in July, jobs surge again By
Employment remained over half a million people lower than seen in March, while hours worked remained 5.5 per cent lower. The percentage of people employed in Australia rose to 59.8 per cent compared to a low of 58.2 per cent in May.

Supermarkets have already moved to immediately restrict the sale of some essential products to ensure demand can be met and prevent stockpiling.

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