New Zealand no longer free from COVID-19, Auckland goes under lockdown
WELLINGTON (NEW ZEALAND) – After being free from novel coronavirus for 102 days, New Zealand announced on Tuesday that it was placing its largest city, Auckland, under lockdown after four new cases were identified.
The nation with a population of 5 million was seen as one of the safest places and its successful tackling of the virus was hailed around the world.
According to Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, the four cases were detected in one family in south Auckland and they had no history of overseas travel. Contact tracing is going on.
When news of the outbreak surfaced, people panicked and rushed to stores to stock up and business establishments braced for a shut down.
As a precautionary step, Auckland would go under level three restriction from Wednesday noon, said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. This means that schools and offices have to be shut and gatherings of more than ten are restricted. The curbs will remain until Friday. This will give the authorities enough time to assess the situation and ensure contact tracing.
“This is something we have prepared for,” the prime minister said in a press meet.
“We have had 102 days and it was easy to feel New Zealand was out of the woods. No country has gone as far as we did without having a resurgence. And because we were the only ones, we had to plan. And we have planned,” she said.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field