New Zealand set for lockdown due to first COVID case in 6 months


New Zealand will go into hard lockdown within hours as it records its first community case of COVID-19 in six months.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that a case had been discovered in Auckland.

As a result, starting at 11.59 GMT for at least three days, the entire country will be placed in a heavy lockdown, with all schools and non-essential businesses closing.

“We’ve seen what happens when you wait too long to act.”

Ardern stated that the case’s genome was being sequenced and that there was no known link to the border at this time.

“Recently, every case under controlled isolation and quarantine has been a Delta variety, and Delta is on the rise all across the world. While we can’t confirm it just yet, we must presume that our case will be as well.”

Ardern described the situation as “unique.”

“Going hard and early has worked for us before. We know that Delta is a more dangerous enemy to combat, the same actions we applied in 2020 can work again.’’

The last case in the community was reported on Feb. 28, since then, all COVID cases in New Zealand have been caught at the border.

“A hard and early response is the best tool to stamp out any potential spread and everyone in New Zealand is asked to stay calm, be kind and play their parts while we gather more information on the potential case,’ the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

New Zealand, with a population of some five million people, recorded a total of 2,570 cases and 26 deaths during the pandemic.

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