New Delhi: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday ordered a ‘level-3’ lockdown in the country’s largest city of Auckland, as the island nation recorded its first locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 in 102 days, with four new cases being reported from a single family in the city. Also Read - 'Can Beat Coronavirus if...': PM Modi in Interaction With Chief Ministers of 10 States
“After 102 days, we have our first cases of COVID-19 outside of managed isolation or quarantine facilites. We’ve all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario”, she said in a televised address to the nation, while announcing the lockdown. Also Read - Madhya Pradesh CM Chouhan Tests Negative For Coronavirus, to Stay in Isolation Till Tomorrow
“We’ve also planned and prepared for it”, she added. Also Read - Russia First to Register Coronavirus Vaccine; Putin's Daughter Inoculated
Notably, New Zealand, which has a population of around five million, had reported just 22 COVID-19 deaths and had not recorded a single case of community transmission since May 1. As a result, the COVID-19 norms were quite relaxed in the country, with spectators allowed at sports and cultural events.
However, experts had repeatedly warned people not to be complacent, remarking that a second wave of infections was ‘inevitable’.
Now, Auckland will go into lockdown for three days beginning Wednesday, while some social distancing norms will be reintroduced in the rest of the country, which was put under ‘level-3’ lockdown.
As of today, New Zealand has reported a total of 1,220 cases of COVID-19. Of these, 22 cases are currently active.