Auckland locked down after 1 case found
New Zealand PM issues order after case involving person who may have been infectious for a week
27 Feb 2021 at 16:09
People jog past a sign promoting social distancing in Auckland in August. (Reuters file photo)
WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s prime minister has ordered a seven-day lockdown of Auckland, the country’s biggest city, after a single local coronavirus case of unknown origin was recorded.
The rest of New Zealand will be put into Level 2 restrictions that limit public gatherings, among others, Jacinda Ardern told a news conference on Saturday. Auckland is at Level 3.
In mid-February, Auckland’s nearly 2 million residents were plunged into a snap three-day lockdown after a family of three were diagnosed with the more transmissible UK variant of Covid-19.
The latest case involves a patient who developed symptoms on Tuesday and is regarded as having been potentially infectious since last Sunday, officials said. In the interim, the person went to several public places. The patient went to a family doctor for a Covid test on Friday and then went to the gym after that, the
New Zealand Herald
“Based on this, we are in the unfortunate but necessary position to protect Aucklanders again,” Ardern said.
Health authorities were trying to find out whether the new case was linked to the earlier February cluster, now at 12 infections.
Ms Ardern said public venues in the city would be closed for seven days and gatherings outside of bubbles are prohibited
She asked Aucklanders to work from home and for children to stay home from school. All sports events will be cancelled.
The restrictions will complicate the America’s Cup yacht race scheduled to start on March 6 in Auckland Harbour. Organisers said on Twitter they were working “through the implications”.
Supermarkets will remain open, so “there is no need to rush to your supermarket”, Ardern said.
New Zealand has been widely praised for the success of its “go hard” approach to tackling Covid, which has limited total cases to 2,372 and deaths to 26 over the past 12 months.
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