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Saturday, September 25, 2021
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Auckland, New Zealand begins 3-day lockdown

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19. Scientists say it's still too early to predict the future of the coronavirus, but many doubt it will ever go away entirely. (AP photo)

NEW ZEALAND — New Zealand’s largest city of Auckland has begun a three-day lockdown following the discovery of three unexplained coronavirus cases in the community.

Health officials say the cases are of the more contagious variant first found in Britain and that genome testing hadn’t linked them to any previous known cases.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the lockdown after an urgent meeting with other top lawmakers in the Cabinet. She says they decided to take a cautious approach until they find out more about the outbreak.

The rest of New Zealand has also had restrictions imposed, including limiting crowd sizes to 100.

The lockdown, which extends through Wednesday, is the first in New Zealand in six months and represents a significant setback in the nation’s largely successful efforts to control the virus. It has also forced a delay in the America’s Cup sailing regatta.



The virus outbreak:



Scientists say it’s still too early to predict the future of the coronavirus, but many doubt it will ever go away entirel y. The average of new U.S. virus cases has dipped below 100,000 a day for the first time in months. With more vaccines available, business owners wonder whether to require employees to be inoculated. Disability groups are pleading for the vaccine. Japan has formally approved its first Covid-19 vaccine. With street parties banned, Brazil Carnival goes online. (AP)


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