Unlocking Auckland: Anxieties and tempers rise as the City remains closed

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Presenting our September 15, 2021 Digital Edition

Venkat Raman
Auckland, September 15, 2021

Aucklanders are understandably disappointed that they are constrained to remain under Alert Level Four, with almost everything shut. Shutters are down in the hospitality industry- no restaurants, bars, coffee shops, takeaway outlets since August 18, 2021 when the first case of the Delta Variant of Covid-19 was detected. The government is determined to ensure that the Variant is out of the community before normal life can begin in the country’s biggest city.

This subject made to the front page of our September 15, 2021 Digital Edition released today.

Craig McCulloch, Deputy Political Editor at Radio New Zealand said in the lead story that the broad political and public consensus on eliminating Covid-19 has shown signs of wavering as Auckland stares down its longest-ever stretch in hard lockdown.

Authorities are confident that Level Four has stamped out ‘widespread’ community transmission but three clusters are still growing and several mystery cases remain unexplained.

Outbreak under control

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “Alert Level Four is working. It has helped us to get the outbreak under control. But we have not quite finished the job yet.”

ACT Party Leader David Seymour said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

“If we cannot get this outbreak under control with four weeks of Level Four, are we certain that it will be under control after five? And if we cannot get it under control after five weeks, will we to Six? People will go broke in the meantime. The alternative is a holding pattern – a kind of Level 2 or Level 3 that allows businesses to operate somewhat sustainably – while we wait for vaccination rates to be high enough to abandon lockdowns,” he said.

National Party Covid-19 Response Spokesperson Chris Bishop said, “Once we give up on elimination, we can never go back… I do not believe that we are in that position just yet.”

Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health said that the lockdown is working.

One more week please

“The testing is at a good level, people are doing what is asked of them, and it is really only a small number of cases that we are investigating very thoroughly just to make sure there is no ongoing community transmission. Our view and advice are that another week in lockdown in Alert Level 4 in Auckland give us our best chance to really finish the job off here,” he said.

Public Health Professor Michael Baker, who has advocated longer lockdown periods, asked people to think about the consequences of having the virus circulating widely in the country.

“Auckland would be sticking, at best, at Alert Level Three. Our health system cannot cope with an intense pandemic wave. It is not simply, “Oh, we can go back to celebrating our freedoms in some sort of Promised Land. It is not like that at all,” he said.

Terror Attack and after

We also carry a detailed analysis of the terror attack, why the dead man was not allowed to get out of New Zealand and equally important, why he could not be locked away in a prison cell, even after the law-enforcing authorities were aware of his angry behaviour and highly objectionable and terrorist literature in his possession.

Ms Ardern said that the Crown had “utilised every legal and surveillance power available to us to try and keep people safe from this individual. Many agencies and people were involved and all were motivated by the same thing – trying to keep people safe.”

Twentieth Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

We also remember, with regret, thousands of people who lost their lives as terrorists unleashed their terror in New York and Washington on September 11, 2021. As well as featuring articles from experts, we have reproduced our coverage of the event a year later.

Our latest September 15, 2021 issue has the usual departments- Current Affairs, Education, Business, Opinion, Community, Entertainment and Sports. Please read it and share with your family, associates and friends.

With Greetings from the Indian Newslink Team

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