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‘Encouraging’: New Zealand’s COVID cases grow by 28

New Zealand’s daily case numbers have edged up by only 28, suggesting its restrictions and contract tracing are gaining results in containing the outbreak.

This was down markedly from the 49 new cases announced on Thursday.

The outbreak, sparked this month by someone returning from New South Wales, triggered an immediate nationwide hard lockdown.

“While the fall is encouraging, we are mindful these outbreaks can have a long tail,” Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McEnlay said at the daily news conference.

This week, PM Jacinda Ardern announced the lowering of the lockdown restriction level for all areas outside of Auckland.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McEnlay speaks at the media conference.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McEnlay speaks at the media conference.

Auckland, which has borne the brunt of most of the infections, remains at the highest restriction levels, with no shops open, even for takeaway food, and very few reasons to leave home.

The number of the current outbreak sits at 764, while 33 people have recovered.

There are 43 cases in hospital, nine of these in intensive care.

New Zealand’s government will decide on Monday whether to lower the restrictions for areas outside of Auckland.

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