May 23, 2022 11:12 pm

Jacinda Ardern: The leader who was praised for her handling of the pandemic and now called off her wedding over nine omicron cases in New Zealand

WELLINGTON.- I didn’t trust myself to be good at politics, but as far as the pandemic is concerned, New Zealand became one of the countries with the highest rate of infections and deaths from Covid-19 and she, one of the most praised leaders in the world for her management of the health crisis. After months without a record of the virus in the country, the prime minister Jacinta Ardern announced new restrictions after nine infected people were registered with the omicron variant. She herself suffers these new measures: He had to suspend his marriage.

“Our plan to manage the omicron cases in the first phase is the same as with delta, where we will rapidly test, contact trace and isolate cases and contacts to stop the expansion,” the president told reporters in Wellington.

The nine cases that were registered over the weekend -adding to a total of 15,104 infections and 52 deaths since March 2020- forced the premier to establish the highest level of restrictions in the country.

The infected family from the Nelson-Marlborough region attended a wedding and other events during their stay in Auckland, where they came into contact with “more than 100 people”, according to estimates, Ardern said. “That means ómicron is already circulating in Auckland and possibly in the Nelson-Marlborough region, if not elsewhere,” he added.

Starting today, it will be limited attendance at events to a maximum of 100 vaccinated people and will reintroduce the use of chinstraps in premises and on public transport. The so-called “red tier is not a lockdown,” Ardern stressed, noting that businesses will be able to stay open and people will still be able to visit family and friends and move freely around the country.

But nevertheless, their wedding – which was scheduled for the following weekend – was cancelled.

“I join the many other New Zealanders who have had a similar experience as a result of the pandemic. And to everyone who finds themselves in that situation: I’m very sorry.” said the 41-year-old president.

Jacinda Ardern gave a speech after the attack in a supermarket in New ZealandROBERT KITCHIN – POOL

New Zealand is one of the few countries that has not had an outbreak of the omicron variant, but Ardern acknowledged last week that an outbreak is inevitable, since it is a highly contagious variant. The new measures will take effect at midnight this Sunday, local time.

around the 93% of New Zealanders from 12 years has completed his vaccination, and 52% have received a booster dose. The country has just started vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Francis Kumu receives the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Dean Purcell/New Zealand Herald via AP)
Francis Kumu receives the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Dean Purcell/New Zealand Herald via AP)

The country managed to contain the expansion of the delta variant with an average of about 20 cases per day. But he has seen the number of people who arrive in the country and go into mandatory quarantine grow because they are infected with omicron.

That has strained the quarantine system and prompted the government to limit access to returning citizens while it decides what to do about reopening borders, angering many who want to return to New Zealand.

AP Agency

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