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Friday, 21 June 2024
New Zealand PM says lockdowns can end with high vaccination rate
New zealand Prime Minister-

The Channel News Asia reported according to Reuters, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday, the country should aim for a 90 per cent-plus rate of inoculation, and could drop strict coronavirus lockdown measures once enough people were vaccinated.

New Zealand eliminated COVID-19 last year and remained largely virus-free until an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in August led to a nationwide lockdown.

With its biggest city Auckland still in lockdown and new cases being reported every day, Ardern said vaccinations will replace lockdowns as the main tool against the virus, allowing authorities to isolate only those who are infected.

She said: "If that rate (of vaccinations) is high enough then we will be able to move away from lockdowns as a tool."

The highest possible vaccine rates will give the most freedoms, Ardern said, adding that the country should be aiming for a 90 per cent plus rate of vaccination.

Read more: UK and South Korea reach vaccine swap deal

After a sluggish start to its vaccination campaign, about 40 per cent of adult New Zealanders are fully vaccinated and about 75 per cent have had at least one dose.

According to the report, authorities reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, all in Auckland, taking the total number of cases in the current outbreak to 1,123.

The Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield warned earlier this week that New Zealand may not get to zero COVID-19 cases again.

Source: cna