New Zealand Extends Auckland Lockdown For 12 Days

  • New Zealand had success containing coronavirus and went 102 days without a community transmission.
  • There are four “alert levels” in New Zealand, and Auckland has been on Level 3 since Wednesday.
New Zealand Extends Auckland Lockdown For 12 Days
image via flickr

The Prime Minister of New Zealand has announced an extension of 12 days in the coronavirus lockdown as the cluster of new locally transmitted cases grew to 29. The country has four alert levels, and the capital, Auckland, has been on level three since Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the rest of New Zealand is on level two, and Ardern said that both would be extended. It is among the only few countries which had successfully contained the pandemic and went nearly 102 days without any community transmission across the country.

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Health authorities have maintained that they are investigating the origins of the cluster in the capital, which is home more than 1.5 million population. Ardern added that the decision to extend the restrictions and was in line with New Zealand’s philosophy of going early and hard.

She further added that the authorities think in 12 days, the cluster would be identified and isolated. Ardern said then Auckland could move to level two confidently. The Prime Minister added that all the reported 29 cases were linked to one cluster in the capital and that 38 people are in government quarantine facilities.

However, regarding the ongoing investigation to identify the origins of the new outbreak, there are still no clear connections. Ardern said during her press conference that contact-tracing and genomic testing suggests that the recent outbreak was not linked to border entry points.

She further added that New Zealand could see a surge in the number of cases and said that it grows before it slows down. Currently, Auckland is under level three lockdown. Under the new restrictions, all the public places, including parks, cafes, cinemas, libraries, food courts, and museums, must be closed.

Residents are encouraged to work from home, and children are advised to do the same.  When not at work or school, people are urged to stay indoors in a bid to curb any further spread of the pandemic. Meanwhile, essential businesses, including petrol pumps, can open, though close contact businesses must remain closed.

The rest of New Zealand is under level 2, which is less severe. Residents can go to schools and workplaces, but they are advised to practice social distancing, and gatherings of more than 100 people are banned.

Due to the restrictions, the final match of the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition between Canterbury Crusaders and Auckland Blues has also been canceled.

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