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Auckland is marking its 40th day in lockdown today.
There were 18 new cases of Covid-19 in the community yesterday, the Ministry of Health says.
All of the new cases are in Auckland.
Officials said 16 of yesterday’s 18 cases have been epidemiologically linked, and all 16 are in isolation at home or in MIQ.
The 18 cases follow the announcement of 16 cases on Saturday. Of those 16 cases, half were in isolation and half were in the community while infectious.
Meanwhile, 12 people with Covid-19 are in hospital – four in ICU or a high dependency unit.
There were 13,442 tests in the last 24 hours. The vaccination campaign has reached a new milestone with five million doses administered.
Of those, 51,472 doses were given yesterday.
First doses made up 19,350 of yesterday’s jabs, and second doses made up 32,122 – and 82 per cent of Aucklanders have now had their first dose.
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Meanwhile former Prime Minister John Key criticised the Government’s approach to managed isolation and said New Zealand needed to prioritise opening up the borders again.
Key said: “The aim should no longer be to exist in a smug hermit kingdom, but to get back to a life where New Zealanders can travel overseas – for any reason – knowing they can return home when they want to, and where we again welcome visitors to this country.”
Three new border cases were also picked up. One of them was a new arrival from Russia via UAE on September 21.
The other two are historical cases. One person arrived from Sri Lanka on September 11, with their infection picked up through a day 12 test. The second had arrived from the UK via Singapore on September 22 and tested positive on day 0.
Testing in six Auckland suburbs of interest is continuing. There were 980 tests processed yesterday from Clover Park, Māngere, Favona, Ōtara, Manurewa and Mount Wellington/Sylvia Park.
Everyone in Clover Park and nearby areas is encouraged to get a test even if they have no symptoms. More than 2140 tests from the suburb have been processed since last Sunday.
In three days more than 1300 tests from Mt Wellington residents have also been processed.
Their closest testing stations include the Auckland Netball Centre in St Johns and a testing station at Mt Smart Stadium in Penrose.
A new pop-up testing centre opens today at the Tuakau Rugby League Club.
The Pukekohe pop-up community testing centre is now at the Pukekohe Netball Centre.
In the last 24 hours there have been 13,442 tests, of which 4498 were in Auckland.
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