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New Zealand retirement home in lockdown to test for COVID-19

New Zealand retirement home in lockdown to test for COVID-19

Google Street View of the Village Palms retirement village in Christchurch.

WELLINGTON: A New Zealand retirement village has gone into lockdown after residents displayed symptoms of respiratory illness, the New Zealand Herald reported on Tuesday (Aug 11). 

The Village Palms retirement village in Christchurch advised of the lockdown in a letter to family members today, the newspaper said. No further details were immediately available.

READ: New Zealand records 100 days without domestic virus case but warns against complacency

New Zealand, which has managed to largely contain the spread of the coronavirus, has gone more than 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19.

New Zealanders have returned to normal life, but authorities are concerned that people were now refusing testing, not using the government contact tracing apps, and even ignoring basic hygiene rules.

There have been cases of returning New Zealanders sneaking out of quarantine and other security slip ups.

New Zealand last week ramped up testing at quarantine facilities and clinics, and started work on technology to track people using Bluetooth technology.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also launched her re-election campaign promising a "laser-like" focus on boosting jobs and economic growth hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.​​​​​​​

In her first campaign speech, Ardern pledged a NZ$311 million (US$205.32 million) scheme aimed at getting 40,000 Kiwis back at work, if her party wins. 

The funding will allow businesses a subsidy of on average NZ$7500, and up to NZ$22,000, to hire unemployed New Zealanders.

"The new flexi-wage scheme is a key plank of our economic plan to support businesses to recover and to provide jobs to those who have lost work due to COVID," Ardern said.

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Source: Reuters/ad


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