New Zealand records 15 new COVID-19 cases

New Zealand has reported 15 new community cases of COVID-19, a decrease from 33 reported the previous day.

The drop on Tuesday has encouraged health officials, who maintain the Delta outbreak can be eliminated.

Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the new cases had all already been linked to the latest outbreak.

“All of these new cases are household contacts from five households,” he said.

The outbreak, identified four weeks ago, has swollen to 970.

As of Tuesday, 22 Kiwis are in hospital, with four in intensive care.

Like Australia, NZ is placing a huge focus on increasing vaccination rates, administering 55,000 doses on Monday, or just over one per cent of the population.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said NZ’s biggest city could hit 80 per cent partially vaccinated in one week if Aucklanders responded to the call.

“The theme over the last few days has been vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate,” she said.

“There is nothing holding us back in Auckland when it comes to vaccines … there is capacity to administer 220,000 doses of the vaccine in the region this week.”

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