New Zealand orders lockdown after four new COVID-19 cases arise

Four new cases of COVID-19 have been discovered in New Zealand – the first reported cases the country has seen in 102 days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday when she ordered another lockdown.

The positive cases of coronavirus come from one household in Auckland, the nation’s largest city.

Ardern ordered a lockdown for the city from noon Wednesday to midnight Friday – cracking down on bars and businesses and banning people from leaving their homes, except to carry out essential activities. Schools will also close.

“These three days will give us time to assess the situation, gather information, make sure we have wide-ranging contacts so we can find out more about how this case came about and make decisions about how we respond to it. should respond when we have more information, “Ardern said at an almost-called news conference late Tuesday.

A man in his 50s went to the doctor on Monday with symptoms and was swabbed twice – both times tested positive, said Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield. Six other people were tested, with three more positive results. The source of the fresh infections is not known.

“Importantly, the person has no history of overseas travel,” Bloomfield noted.

The confirmed cases come after Ardern announced that the country had effectively removed coronavirus in early June. The country, which is largely back to normal, has been praised worldwide for its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ardern said news of the new cases “will be very difficult to receive.”

“We were all hoping not to find ourselves in our position again,” she said Tuesday. ‘But we were prepared for that too. And as a team, we’ve been here before. ”

Mass gatherings in the rest of the country will be limited to 100 people, with social distance requirements in place.

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