Members from Mt Roskill church gathered for prayer meetings during lockdown

Source: 1News

It’s the Mt Roskill church that’s become the central focus of the Auckland Covid-19 cluster for the fourth day running, accounting for fresh cases.

Today, there were six new cases connected to the mini cluster, four from the same household and two others who attended church services at Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship.

Sources have told 1 NEWS many worshippers defied lockdown rules and gathered privately for prayer meetings.

A pop-up testing clinic was set up near the church this afternoon, but when 1 NEWS visited it was nearly deserted. Health officials say they've received swabs from nearly 200 people connected to the church.

With a total of 11 new cases in the community today, epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker believes the Government has to re-think plans to take Auckland down to Level 2 on Monday.

“If we drop down next week to Level 2 we would expect numbers to start tracking up,” he says.

Mr Baker is also reinforcing the importance of wearing masks and says this should be extended beyond public transport. 

“What else can we throw at the virus to limit transmission and I think the only other intervention we’ve got available is mass masking,” he says, adding this should include all indoor environments. 

Defying Auckland's lockdown

Police are still urging Aucklanders to stay home where possible. They say they know it’s tempting to head out over the weekend, but every day counts to help control the virus.

Many have been disregarding that advice, including MP Jami-Lee Ross who attended a protest against the lockdown measures.

“This lockdown is not necessary. The Government’s gone too far,” he told a group of protesters in Auckland today.