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

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Four new cases of COVID-19 have been detected in New Zealand – the first reported cases the country has seen in 102 days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday as she ordered another lockdown.Positive cases of the coronavirus come from a single household in Auckland, the country’s largest city.

Ardern ordered a city lockdown from noon Wednesday to midnight Friday – shutting down bars and businesses and prohibiting people from leaving their homes except to conduct essential activities. Schools will also be closed.

“These three days will give us time to assess the situation, gather information, make sure we have a generalized contact tracing so that we can find out more about how this case came about and take action. decisions on how to respond once we have more information ”. Ardern said at a hastily organized press conference on Tuesday evening.

A person in their 50s went to the doctor on Monday with symptoms and was washed twice – tested positive both times, said chief health officer Ashley Bloomfield. Six other people were tested, with three more positive results. The source of the new infections is unknown.

“Most importantly, the person has no previous travel history,” Bloomfield noted.

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

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

“We had all hoped not to find ourselves in this position,” she said Tuesday. “But we had also prepared for it. And as a team, we’ve been here before as well.

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

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