Daily US Times: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ordered Auckland, the country’s biggest city, to go into lockdown after the discovery of three new local cases of Covid-19.
The lockdown will last three days and require residents to stay at home.
Ms Ardern said New Zealand was going “hard and early” after the cases were identified.
The country has won widespread praise for its handling of the pandemic, going months without community transmission.
New Zealand’s closed its borders entirely to almost all non-citizens or residents early on in the pandemic, aiming to eliminate the virus.
The country has recorded just over 2,300 cases of Covid and 25 deaths.
The measures in Auckland require its 1.7 million residents to stay at home except for essential shopping and work. Non-essential shops and schools will close.
The Prime Minister said three days should allow the government to get more information and get more testing done, and would also help determine if there was any community transmission.
The rest of the country moves to a higher level of alert, with businesses and schools remaining open but people encouraged to find alternative ways of working if possible.
Earlier on Sunday, three community cases were announced- a mother, father and daughter from South Auckland. The new measures were taken after this.
New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said “we’re working under the assumption that it is one of the new variants,” stuff.co.nz reported.
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