Crowds rally in New Zealand's Auckland against coronavirus lockdown

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is facing a general election on October 17, scaled back the restrictions this month, but the city is still under alert level 2.5, meaning social gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed.

The case is linked to the Botany sub-cluster which has been genomically linked to the Auckland cluster.

Since August 11, contract tracing has found 3647 close contacts of cases, of which 3640 have been contacted and are self-isolating - the rest are being contacted.

Two girls aged between 10 and 14 are the latest confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

The Ministry of Health says this reinforces exposure at Jet Park being the most likely route of transmission, but an investigation into exactly how the infection happened is still underway.

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The ministry said five household contacts of the health worker are in isolation at their home and are being tested today. They will also remain in self-isolation for the full 14-day period and will be retested.

The school is deemed safe to attend; however, it will be deep cleaned as a precaution, parents, caregivers, and staff were told via Facebook. It is yet unknown whether the health worker was infected from the community or from within the quarantine facility, said the ministry.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 96.

Jacinda Ardern says the risk of nationwide spread remains, with Health Ministry modelling suggesting a 25 percent chance cases could move outside of Auckland. Of those, 39 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 57 are community cases.

Numerous attendees of the protest were not wearing face masks and were holding signs against the Covid-19 lockdown, vaccines, the New Zealand government, and several other issues.

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