20 new cases today 'not a sign of failure' says PM

By Jessica Tyson

There have been 20 new community cases of Covid-19 identified in Auckland today. Even though it is not a decrease compared to earlier in the week Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says it is not a sign of failure.

It comes after a downward spiral of cases early this week. As few as 11 cases were identified on Friday but on Saturday that increased to 23.

Ardern says, “It’s not a sign that what we’re doing isn’t working. It just means that Delta is harder and the tail, therefore, is harder.”

Of today’s 20 new cases, nearly half are contacts of previous cases. Of the overall Delta outbreak, 34 cases are still yet to be linked to known cases.

“We have to remember we still know where the vast majority of our cases are coming from,” Ardern says. 

“This is a simple and important reminder. It’s an indication of the general control we have of this outbreak.”

The Ministry of Health said in a statement, “This does serve as a strong reminder of the importance of following the Covid-19 Alert Level rules wherever you are, and to get tested if you have any symptoms or have been at a location of interest at the specified times.”

There are 18 people in hospital with Covid-19, including four in an intensive care unit. Overall, there are 922 cases in total from the Delta outbreak and 352 have recovered.

Health director-general Dr Ashley Bloomfield says there were more than 61,000 vaccines administered on Saturday.

"The volume of testing is reassuring but we need to keep that going over the next few days."

In the past 24 hours, nearly 11,000 Covid-19 tests were completed around the country, including 5,000 from Auckland. All of the country's alert level settings will be reviewed on Monday.