Auckland should be moved to alert level 2 following the announcement of new community cases of Covid-19, an academic says.
Two more cases were announced by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday night a teenager and an infant.
Both are siblings of a Papatoetoe High School student announced as a positive case earlier in the day.
Auckland University associate professor Dr Siouxsie Wiles said the region should be moved back to level 2, which places limits on gatherings, to stop super-spreaders from infecting others.
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The question will be whether they can contain the cases through track and tracing, she said.
Auckland University associate professor and microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles says limits should be placed on gatherings while close contacts of the new cases are identified.
The best move is to go to level 2 to stop super spreaders.
The comments come less than two days after Auckland went back to alert level 1 following last weeks outbreak.
In total, there are now 11 people connected to the cluster.
One of the cases announced on Tuesday night works at Kmart Botany, and 31 staff there have been deemed close contacts.
Papatoetoe High School in south Auckland has closed until further notice after another community case of Covid-19 was diagnosed.
They have been asked to self-isolate and get tested for the virus.
The store has been closed for a deep clean.
When asked how worried Aucklanders should be about the news, Wiles said it was too early to tell for sure.
It all depends on how long these cases have had symptoms and when they were infectious, she said.
Siblings of cases testing positive is an outcome that is expected, but Wiles noted in this case, it had happened quite fast.
The worry is whether the siblings contracted the virus a while ago, which could mean it has had more chance to spread to others, she said.
It is all dependent on the movement on the family.
Professor Michael Baker says moving back to alert level 2 might be necessary.
University of Otago professor Michael Baker said New Zealanders should be concerned about the new cases.
He said it might be that moving to alert level 2 is necessary: I wouldnt rule it out.
A lot hinges on contact tracing, which will ascertain the movements of the cases when they were likely to be infectious, Baker said.
This outbreak is still connected, so contact tracing can work very effectively.

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