New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Saturday, said that the country’s biggest city, Auckland, will go into a seven-day lockdown from early morning on Sunday, after a new local case of the coronavirus of unknown origin emerged.
According to reports, this comes two weeks after Auckland’s nearly 2 million residents were plunged into a snap three-day lockdown when a family were diagnosed with the more transmissible U.K. variant of the coronavirus.
Health officials, who could not immediately confirm how the person got infected, said genome sequencing of the new infection was under way.
It was also reported that the patient developed symptoms on Tuesday and is regarded as having been potentially infectious since Sunday. Officials also said that the person has visited several public venues during that period.
Arden, while announcing the lockdown, said that based on this, they are in the unfortunate but necessary position to protect Aucklanders again.
Health authorities were trying to find out whether the new case was linked to the earlier February cluster, now at 12 infections.
Arden also stated that the lockdown, with Level 3 restrictions, will allow people to leave home only for essential shopping and essential work.
Public venues will remain closed while restrictions in the rest of the country will be tightened to Level 2 restrictions, including limits on public gatherings.