CANBERRA: New Zealand said on Saturday (Sep 11) it detected 23 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, denting optimism that the country was on course to eradicate the virus once more.
The new infections, all in the epicentre of Auckland, were up from the 11 cases detected a day earlier.
"This does serve as a strong reminder of the importance of following the COVID-19 alert level rules wherever you are, and to get tested if you have any symptoms or have been at a location of interest at the specified times," New Zealand's Ministry for Health said in an emailed statement.
About 1.7 million people living in Auckland remain in a strict level 4 lockdown, while curbs were eased in the rest of the country earlier this week.
The government will decide on Monday whether the lockdown in Auckland would be eased or extended.