Lockdown protest attracts single protester in New Zealand | World

Only one person appeared to protest the lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand, this Friday (27) after an online summons. The man was persuaded by police to go home and abide by government rules after the country registered its first local Covid infection cases in six months.

According to New Zealand website Newshub, police saw the call for the protest on an Instagram profile, which called for people to go to Queen Street, claiming that “it is more than enough”.

The owners of the profile, however, stated that they were not the authors and were just passing on the text, without knowing the initial source.

The publication accused the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, of “destroying the economy” and “destroying jobs”, despite New Zealand having had a 4 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate in the last quarter and having recovered from the last lockdowns with results above projections, according to Newshub.

“Police have been aware of discussions on social media about an anti-lockdown protest on Queen Street in Auckland this afternoon. Police were in the area and spoke to a person who had arrived with the intention of attending the protest. The individual was encouraged to comply with level four alert restrictions and chose to leave,” says a statement from the local police.

Also on Friday, Ardern announced the August 31 extension of the nationwide lockdown. The objective is to try to stop a new increase in cases of the Delta variant.

Ardern announced that just this Friday 70 new cases were registered linked to the initial focus of Auckland, bringing the number of contaminations to 347. According to the prime minister, the lockdown has already started to show the first results. “We are seeing the beginning of a stagnation of cases (…) Our job is to continue with this hard effort,” he declared.

Starting next week, the government foresees a slight relaxation of measures across the country, with the exception of the city of Auckland and the neighboring region of Northland, which concentrate almost all cases. These locations must remain confined for at least two more weeks.

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