Coronavirus live news: New Zealand battles first Delta outbreak, vaccine warning for south-east Asia




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To overseas eyes, going into national lockdown over a single case should have been a hard sell, even for an extraordinarily popular prime minister such as Jacinda Ardern.

But a disastrous outbreak of the Delta variant in Sydney has helped galvanise New Zealand’s “team of 5 million” – and across the country, the government’s tough strategy on Covid-19 has enjoyed widespread popular support.

On Tuesday, New Zealand was plunged into a national, level 4 lockdown – the highest level of restrictions – as the country announced its first local case of the Delta variant.

That news was greeted with a degree of surprise, and some criticism from overseas figures. Ex-politician and brexiter Nigel Farage said Ardern had “lost her marbles”. A presenter for GB News – a partisan UK television station that has struggled in the ratings – said “Jacinda Ardern’s zero Covid fantasy is nothing short of a never ending nightmare.” Writer Glenn Greenwald called the move “demented, oblivious to the costs of sustained isolation”.

But in-country, the loudest overseas critics of its elimination approach have been mostly greeted with bemusement or defiance.




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source: theguardian.com