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Close contact test results will be crucial to whether Auckland’s level 3 lockdown is extended beyond three days

The highly infectious nature of the COVID-19 variant, and the fact the infections have no clear link to the border, leaves the worrying possibility of a more widespread community outbreak.
Medical technician Amira Doudou prepares samples at the University Hospital Institute for Infectious Diseases in Marseille, France, Jan. 13, 2021, to study the highly contagious COVID-19 variant. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Why new COVID-19 variants are on the rise and spreading around the world

Multiple COVID-19 variants are circulating around the world and becoming more common. These mutations can alter the ability of the virus to take hold and replicate within our cells.

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