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Ardern Extends Auckland Lockdown As Global Cases, Deaths Decline: Live Updates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Summary:

  • Ardern extends Auckland lockdown by 4 days
  • India reports 61k+ new cases
  • South Korea reports 266 new cases, highest since March
  • China reports 16 new 'imported' cases
  • Victoria reports 116 new cases

* * *

Perhaps the biggest COVID-19-related story in the anglosphere overnight was an announcement by New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, who announced a 4-day extension to Auckland's strict lockdown, which will now end on Aug. 30, instead of Aug. 26.  Speaking to reporters in Wellington (New Zealand's capital city), Ardern said Auckland would leave the lockdown at midnight on the 30th.

"These extra four days are believed necessary to allow us to move down a level in Auckland, and stay down,” Ardern said. Auckland is currently at Level 3 COVID alert, though the outbreak in the country has almost certainly been contained due to the country's overwhelming response, which drove an economy that was recovering nicely from a previous lockdown back into precarious closure.

Economists at Westpac Banking have estimated the Auckland lockdown will reduce GDP by roughly NZ$300 million ($196 million) per week, according to Bloomberg.

"We’ve made a decision around a four-day increase versus the potential that you come out prematurely without the full confidence that we have the cluster and the full perimeter of that cluster well understood," Ardern said. "You then run the risk of going into another transmission cycle. The idea of yo-yo-ing is very, very unsettling for an economy and comes with a high price."

Auckland is on track to shift to level 2 on Aug. 31, allowing schools, restaurants and hotels, retail and other businesses to reopen, although gatherings will still most likely be limited.

The remainder of New Zealand will remain at level 2, with a further review of all settings to be made by Sept. 6, Ardern said.

Furthermore, the government plans to mandate face masks on public transport, including taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber, in areas that are in level 2 or higher. The new regulation is effective beginning Aug. 31.

Source: Worldometer

The Auckland cluster has increased to 101 cases, while confounding New Zealand's contact tracing army.

"This is a contained cluster, but it is our biggest one," Ardern said. "That means the tail will be long, and the cases will keep coming for a while to come. But we can manage that. What we need to do though, is put ourselves in the best long-term position to manage it successfully, and in the most contained way we can."

In other news, India reported 61,408 cases in the last 24 hours, down from 69,239 the previous day and bringing the country total to 3.1 million. Fatalities have risen to 57,542, up 836 since Sunday morning.

Source: Worldometer

Seoul requires face masks for both indoor and outdoor public spaces for the first time, as the country battles a surge in cases. In May, the city government had ordered that masks be worn on public transport and taxis, but the latest spike has officials worried that the country may need to impose its highest level of social distancing.

South Korea reported 266 new cases as of midnight Sunday, continuing more than a week of triple-digit daily increases.

China reported 16 new cases for Sunday, all of which were imported, health authorities said. That's larger than the 12 new cases reported in the day prior, while marking the eighth consecutive day of no reported cases of local transmission. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 84,967, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.

Australia's state of Victoria reported 116 cases, it's lowest daily rise in new infections in seven weeks, fueling optimism that a second wave in the land down under is finally subsiding. Sadly, Victoria also reports 15 deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours.

Globally, both cases…

Source: Worldometer

…and deaths…

Source: Worldometer

…have declined overnight.


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