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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the country must “assume” the current mystery COVID-19 case in Auckland is the Delta variant.

The case, a 58-year-old man, became symptomatic on Saturday and is expected to have been infectious since last Thursday.

His wife has returned a negative test.

“I want to assure New Zealand that we have planned for this eventuality,” Ms Ardern said.

“Going hard and early has worked for us before.”

The man’s wife is fully vaccinated.

There is no immediate link between this case and the New Zealand border.

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