New Zealand reports fall in local COVID-19 cases, all in Auckland

FILE PHOTO: A normally busy road is deserted during a lockdown to curb the spread of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Auckland, New Zealand, August 26, 2021. REUTERS/Fiona Goodall

(Reuters) – New Zealand on Monday reported a slight easing in new COVID-19 cases, all of them in the country’s biggest city of Auckland, as authorities look to step up the pace of vaccination efforts to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant.

A total of 35 new cases were reported, down from 60 on Sunday, taking the total cases in the current outbreak to 1,622.

New Zealand last week abandoned its long-standing strategy of eliminating coronavirus amid persistent infections and will instead look to live with the virus and control its spread through higher vaccinations.

About 2.4 million New Zealanders have so far been fully vaccinated, or about 53% of the eligible population.

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