New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted the nation’s ‘Covid zero’ attempt has failed to halt the current Delta outbreak.
The elimination strategy had been hailed by many during the early stages of the pandemic, but Ardern has accepted a new approach is now needed.
The latest outbreak in August sent the capital into a seven-week lockdown, which has failed to contain the outbreak.
Ardern said the Delta variant is a “game changer” that cannot be eliminated.
“Even with the long-term restrictions we’ve had, we patently haven’t reached zero,” she said.
“Elimination was important because we didn’t have vaccines, now we do, so we can begin to change the way we do things,” she added.
Auckland will remain in lockdown for now, but the Government will conduct weekly reviews to time the reintroduction of freedoms.
IMAGE – “Jacinda Ardern in Dunedin” by Wikimedia Commons is licensed under CC BY 4.0/ “New York National Guard” by The National Guard is licensed under CC BY 2.0