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New Zealand imposes 12-working day lockdown in Auckland as it battles fresh Covid-19 outbreak



New Zealand imposes 12-day lockdown in Auckland as it battles fresh Covid-19 outbreak
Only five days back, New Zealand was marking an enviable milestone — 100 times without any neighborhood transmission. But this 7 days has demonstrated how quick that can change, even in a country like New Zealand which has been held up as a globe chief for its handling of the virus.

On Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced that Auckland — the town of close to 1.5 million men and women at the centre of the new outbreak — will continue to be beneath a amount three lockdown for one more 12 days, while the relaxation of the place stays below amount two limits, meaning gatherings are restricted to no far more than 100 people today. The principles extend limits that arrived into outcome before this week.

Underneath level 3 constraints, men and women will be advised to continue to be dwelling aside for vital particular motion, schools will function at restricted ability, and community venues these kinds of as museums, playgrounds and fitness centers will stay shut.

The fresh outbreak is a blow for New Zealand. The place already spent five weeks underneath just one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, which shut most corporations and faculties, and noticed individuals stay at dwelling.

Ardern has warned she expects to see more instances.

“Lifting constraints now and observing an explosion of cases is the worst issue we could do for Auckland and for the New Zealand economic system,” she claimed. “We have bought rid of Covid prior to … We can do all of that again.”

Before Friday, New Zealand’s Director Standard of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield announced one more 12 locally-transmitted coronavirus instances. There are now 49 lively circumstances in New Zealand to 49, 29 of which are connected to the latest outbreak.
The situations are all in Auckland apart from two in Tokoroa, a city of 24,000 about 200km (124 miles) south of the town. In accordance to the Ministry of Health and fitness, these two tested optimistic following a pay a visit to from a get hold of of one particular of the Auckland circumstances.

In a push meeting Friday, Bloomfield reported that 771 near contacts of the verified cases had been determined, and extra than 15,700 assessments had been processed on Thursday — the greatest variety of exams processed in a single working day in the region.

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Due to the fact the commence of the outbreak, New Zealand has conducted additional than 500,000 assessments. It has reported a whole of 1,251 coronavirus conditions, including 22 deaths.

What caused the outbreak?

There is continue to a significant, unanswered issue: How did this outbreak come about?

The remote island nation imposed rigid border controls back in March, this means that, for the most component, only New Zealanders are allowed into the state — and all those who do get there from abroad need to have to commit 14 days in state quarantine services. In accordance to the Ministry of Health, 68% of New Zealand’s cases are imported or linked to imported cases.
One attainable bring about of this most recent outbreak is that coronavirus by some means obtained out of New Zealand’s state quarantine amenities. That’s what Deputy Key Minister Winston Peters informed Australian countrywide broadcaster ABC, saying: “I assume there has been a breach in our quarantine system.”
There have been breaches in New Zealand just before — in July, a male slice by way of a fence at a managed isolation facility to go to a liquor retail outlet, and yet another guy who later on examined good for coronavirus broke out of a facility and frequented a supermarket. Quarantine facility breaches ended up connected to an outbreak in the Australian point out of Victoria, which is at present less than lockdown.

So significantly, authorities have not found a match between the genome included in this most current outbreak and any instances in managed isolation facilities. Bloomfield explained the new conditions most carefully resemble the genome designs from the United Kingdom and Australia.

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Bloomfield thinks the outbreak could have appear in as a result of the isolation facilities fairly than remaining in existing for months in New Zealand.

“I feel there is certainly really excellent proof to counsel that it hasn’t been lurking in the group,” he reported. Ardern mentioned Friday that the strain in the new outbreak is not the very same as one particular that beforehand existed in New Zealand.

Authorities are also screening samples from surfaces at Americold, an American temperature-controlled warehouse firm exactly where just one of the first 4 to test constructive worked. A range of cases have been connected to the business.

But Ardern reported that, for now, authorities did not know how the outbreak happened.

“We do not automatically have to have to answer that problem to offer with this cluster proficiently,” she said.

Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on August 14, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand.

How New Zealand compares

New Zealand’s fresh outbreak has drawn parallels with Australia and Hong Kong — equally sites that imposed rigorous border measures when they experienced lower an infection numbers and appeared to have the virus under manage, only to knowledge a reemergence of the virus.

In the Australian point out of Victoria, a lockdown has been imposed and a curfew place in area in Melbourne. As of Thursday, Victoria — a state of all around 6 million individuals — experienced additional than 7,800 lively scenarios of coronavirus, and 275 deaths.
In Hong Kong — residence to all around 7.5 million people — there are all-around 1,000 energetic circumstances, which includes 32 in a significant situation. Sixty-six people today have died. Regardless of the recent outbreak, the metropolis has not imposed a lockdown, while persons should dress in masks in public or face a high-quality, general public gatherings are minimal to two folks, and dining places and bars ought to shut at evening other than for takeaways.

On Thursday, Ardern famous that New Zealand experienced imposed limits inside 24 hours of the initially new local community coronavirus scenarios — a reaction which she mentioned was more rapidly than in Hong Kong or Victoria.

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“The pace and pace ought to also act as an added layer of reassurance,” she claimed Thursday, before reiterating the mantra she has been declaring given that the commence of the outbreak: “Likely really hard and early is even now the finest course of action.”

CNN’s Isaac Yee contributed to this story.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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