New Zealand wages high-stakes effort to halt virus outbreak

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — By early next week, New Zealanders should know if their government’s strict new lockdown is working to stamp out its first coronavirus outbreak in six months. A successful effort could again make the nation’s virus response the envy of the world. A failure could expose flaws in its health system, including a lack of hospital beds and a slow vaccine rollout. The high-stakes campaign hinges on whether new infections, which have risen for the past 10 days, begin to drop. The government imposed the strict lockdown after only a single community case was detected in the city of Auckland. The strategy has worked well for New Zealand but faces its biggest test against the highly contagious delta variant.