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Dr Siouxsie Wiles 'a little surprised' at alert level drop announcement

Microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles says she was a "little surprised" at the Government announcing a drop in alert levels for Auckland and the rest of New Zealand this afternoon.

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The microbiologist spoke to Hilary Barry. Source: 1 NEWS

Wiles told Seven Sharp the fact there were three new community cases of Covid-19 also announced today made her think the same restrictions might continue a little longer.

“I was a little surprised I must say, given that we had some new cases today, but I think it shows the Government really only wants to use moving up the alert levels when they really have to and for as short a period as possible," she said.

However, the fact cases were not found to be spreading in large parts of the community would have guided health officials in their decision making, she says.

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Auckland dropping to Covid-19 Alert Level 2 from midnight tonight. Source: 1 NEWS

"It’s where the cases were," Wiles says. "They were among close contacts and among people who have been isolating which gives confidence the outbreak has been contained.

"The three days of lockdown were so important and this could have played out so differently considering it’s the more infectious variant and it was the right decision to be cautious," she said of the initial decision to move alert levels on Sunday.

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"I think we are learning more and more about how annoying this virus is!"

Wiles hopes we "don’t get lulled into a false sense of security" as there was no widespread community transmission from the latest cluster. 

Auckland is moving to Alert Level 2 from 11.59pm tonight while the rest of New Zealand returns to Alert Level 1 at the same time.