On Monday, the mayor of Auckland said that residents of New Zealand’s biggest city should be a priority for vaccines. The city was thrown into a lockdown for the fourth time over the weekend. Thus, it costs millions of dollars a day.
Auckland’s nearly 2 million population went under a seven-day lockdown. The case of one infectious person prompted the move. The person was reportedly not in isolation. The lockdown led to the cancellation of sporting and cultural events in the city.
It also caused traffic chaos over the weekend. Travelers trying to get to their homes in Auckland couldn’t leave city checkpoints for up to 10 hours.
In a statement, Mayor Phil Goff has said that Auckland loses an estimated 200 jobs. Moreover, they lose more than NZ$30 million ($21.7 million) per day under level 3 restrictions.
From Auckland to Queenstown hospital.
Earlier today, a passenger flew from Auckland to Queenstown. They were taken straight into the ambulance. The person who had “mild flu-like symptoms” flew on Air New Zealand flight NZ611 early this morning.
Queenstown Airport corporate and community affairs general manager Sara Irvine described a “relatively small number of passengers on board” for their flights. This was due to alert level 3 restrictions in Auckland.
An ambulance met them at Queenstown airport and then took them straight to Lakes District Hospital.
However, the Ministry of Health tonight confirmed the person has tested negative for COVID-19. The ministry’s spokesperson said that there were no further COVID-19 community cases to report this evening.
Vaccine roll-out, a priority.
Goff said they need the vaccine roll-out to be a priority in Auckland to help avoid future lockdowns. They need it to protect jobs and incomes and ensure Auckland can play its role in supporting the national economic recovery, the mayor added.
On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the latest COVID-19 case had made “multiple mistakes.” For instance, making contact with an infected family.
The person reportedly visited public venues even after taking a COVID-19 test.
However, it was up to the police to decide if any action would be taken against the person, the Prime Minister said.
The lockdown has Level 3 restrictions and allows people to leave home only for essential shopping and essential work. Public venues in the city will remain closed.
New Zealand is one of the most successful and developed nations in controlling the coronavirus’s spread. They only had over 2,000 cases and 26 deaths in the country since the pandemic outbreak.