New Zealand On Alert As A Family Tests Positive For COVID-19
New Zealand On Alert As A Family Tests Positive For COVID-19
A person has died from coronavirus in Auckland
15 February, 2021, 06:53
Overall, New Zealand has recorded just 25 COVID-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic out of its population of five million.
The precautions were announced after it was discovered that three family members in Auckland tested positive for COVID-19 with no obvious source of transmission prompting authorities to raise concerns about a new strain of the virus.
1 NEWS politics editor Jess Mutch McKay explains the steps officials have taken ahead of the latest community cases.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ordered the country's biggest city Auckland into a snap lockdown for the first time in almost six months on Sunday after three coronavirus cases emerged in the community.
Nearly two million Auckland residents were told on Sunday to stay at home from midnight, when the level-three lockdown began, with schools and non-essential businesses forced to close.
Auckland moved to level 3 for at least three days at 11.59 last night, with employees asked to work from home, students urged to stay away from school and police setting up checkpoints at eight locations at the region's border overnight.
While announcing the lockdown, NZ PM Ardern sounded optimistic as saying, "We have stamped out the virus before and we will do it again", per Reuters.
The states will work to identify those who have recently arrived in Australia from New Zealand and assess their risk of transmitting coronavirus, the Department of Health said.
Auckland spent more than two weeks in lockdown last August after a virus outbreak was linked to a worker at a coolstore handling imported frozen freight, but New Zealand has largely been enjoying relaxed restrictions for months.
"All people arriving on such flights originating within this three-day period will need to go into 14 days of supervised hotel quarantine", a statement on the Department of Health website said.
Ardern has been widely praised for her management of the pandemic, with New Zealand recording fewer than 2,000 infections.
The country closed its borders and implemented a strict five-week lockdown in March and April previous year.
Two of the cases also travelled to New Plymouth and visited several tourist locations in north Taranaki over Waitangi weekend, while potentially infectious but before they knew they had symptoms. He said scientists are carrying out genome sequencing to see whether they are variants, and also to see whether they match with any infected passengers.
Queensland, NSW and Victoria will decide what will happen with people who already entered from New Zealand.
The UK varient that the family have is "highly transmissible and a fast-moving chain" which requires fast action, said Ardern.
The new restrictions are initially in place until midnight on Wednesday but will be reviewed daily.
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