New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on the 14th that Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, began to be “locked” for three days at midnight that day due to three confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.
New Zealand health authorities are investigating whether three confirmed cases have Variant COVID-19.
Three people in a family diagnosed
The New Zealand government said that three members of a family in Auckland were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
Among them, their mother worked for a company specializing in washing and catering services for international flights, but had not boarded the airliner on the relevant route.
She and her daughter were diagnosed on the 13th and her father was diagnosed on the 14th.
Another family member tested negative for the virus despite some symptoms of COVID-19 infection.
Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of the New Zealand Ministry of Health, said that the focus of the investigation was initially on the woman’s workplace, but other ways of infection could not be ruled out.
According to the requirements of the New Zealand government, Auckland citizens will stay at home, schools will be closed, non-essential commercial activities will be suspended, and access to the city will be severely restricted for three days from midnight on the 14th.
Ardern held a cabinet meeting on the 14th and said at a press conference in Wellington, the capital, that night: “What we require Oaklanders to do is mainly to stay at home to prevent the spread of the pandemic.”
She said that the “lockdown” was about the fear that the three patients in Oakland were infected with the faster transmission of Variant coronavirus, and that it would require “high caution” to deal with this situation.
With a population of about 1.5 million, Auckland was “locked” for two weeks last August due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The city had several confirmed cases three weeks ago, which were epidemiologically linked to people entering New Zealand.
New Zealand’s coronavirus response minister Chris Shipkins said that researchers are doing genome sequencing to verify whether the three people are infected with Variant coronavirus.
pandemic prevention encounters setbacks
According to the Associated Press, New Zealand has previously controlled the pandemic well, with more than 2,300 confirmed cases and 25 deaths so far.
New Zealanders do not need to wear masks or take other prevention and control measures to participate in concerts and sports activities in the near future.
However, Auckland’s “lockdown” again after nearly half a year marks a “setback” in pandemic prevention.
In addition to Auckland, which implements Level 3 pandemic response, other parts of New Zealand will start to implement Level 2 pandemic response, that is, people should wear masks and take public transportation, and the maximum number of gatherings is 100.
“I ask New Zealanders to continue to be strong and friendly.
I understand that after this happened, everyone thought: Don’t do it again,” Ardern said.
“But remember that we have experienced this situation, which means that we know how to get out, that is, together.