New Zealand to keep largest city locked down

New Zealand will keep its largest city locked down for another week.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the extension for the city of Auckland on Monday:

"But the cases are telling us we have more work to do. The next week will be critical in providing us with the additional assurance we need. Alongside active cluster management, we are going to continue with testing focused for now on seven suburbs of interest."

The country has been battling to control the spread of the highly infections Delta variant.

Strict curbs on Auckland's 1. 7 million people will remain on offices, schools and public spaces until September 21.

New Zealand was largely virus free until an imported case from Australia sparked a snap nationwide lockdown.

The outbreak has infected nearly 1000 people so far, mostly in Auckland.

New Zealand's lockdowns and international border closure since March 2020 have been credited with reining in the virus, largely freeing up day-to-day activities for people.

But Ardern has been criticized for a slow vaccination program, with only around 30% of the population vaccinated so far.

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