New Zealand eliminates COVID-19 for a 2nd time; cases surge in Europe

Oct. 7 (UPI) — New Zealand on Wednesday announced it has eliminated local transmission of the coronavirus for a second time as cases surge in Europe.

New Zealand’s Health Minister Chris Hipkins said there were no more active community cases of COVID-19 in the country after the last patients had recovered from a recent outbreak of the virus.

“This is a big milestone,” he said. “New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in early June that the archipelago Oceania nation had eliminated the virus, lifting the country from weeks of strict lockdown measures in doing so.

But after going more than 100 days without reporting local transmission of the virus, the country was placed back under lockdown in August as four new cases were confirmed among a single Auckland family with no known source of transmission.

In total, 186 community

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