An older man in his 50s, with no history of overseas travel, along with three more members of his family have tested positive for the virus.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday announced that Auckland will be going into lockdown as authorities have found four new cases of the Coronavirus in one household. This is the first case of local transmission in the country in 102 days, which was a new milestone for the Pacific island nation.
According to a report by the NZ Herald, the new case is an older man in his 50s who was showing symptoms and had tested positive. In his family of six, three other people have also tested positive. He has no history of overseas travel. His close contacts will be isolated for 14 days and casual contacts are also being isolated. No one will be able to leave until they test negative.
Ardern said Auckland, the nation’s largest city, will be moved to Level 3 for three days starting from midday tomorrow, Wednesday to midnight on Friday. This means that people will be asked to stay at home and bars and many other businesses will be closed.
However, the rest of the country will be raised to Level 2 from midday tomorrow, Wednesday until midnight on Friday.
“We’re asking people in Auckland to stay home to stop the spread,” Ardern said during a public announcement. “Act as if you have COVID-19, and as though people around you have COVID-19.”
She also advised against panic buying as essential services, pharmacies and supermarkets will be open.
“We have come too far to go backwards. Be strong and be kind,” she said. “We know what to do because we have successfully done this before.”
It was only two days ago that the director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield was warning against complacency in the country and cited the examples of countries like Australia and Vietnam.
“Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent,” Bloomfield had warned. “We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand.”
She said these cases are a wake-up call against complacency.