Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern prolonged a lockdown in New Zealand’s largest city Friday, giving health officials more time to track down and contain a previously unknown strain of coronavirus in the world. Ardern said that stay-at-home orders would remain in place in Auckland until August 26 in a bid to avoid a mystery outbreak from transforming into a full-blown second wave. Genomic tests suggested that the most recent infections were not the same coronavirus strain reported earlier this year in New Zealand.
She added that tests among quarantined overseas travellers were also unable to relate the outbreak to any cases. New Zealand has now reported a cluster of 30 cases of the virus after four people tested positive on Tuesday. It is the first cases of population transmission in 102 days. Ardern acknowledged that the source of the strain. It could never be identified amid rumours that the virus may have been brought in via freight. But she said the outbreak was likely to have been identified early and she expressed hope it could still be held back.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on the City
Ardern lauded New Zealand ‘s biggest city’s 1.5 million people. This is as bearing a “heavy burden” for the welfare of the country. Health minister Chris Hipkins states earlier that following the lockout two cases identify outside of Auckland. But he plays down concerns that failure to infect with the ring-fence. It means that the virus domes to spread across the country.
New Zealanders rattled out the possibility of a new wave of pathogens. It is over the past three months have come to see the isolated South Pacific nation as a transmission-free sanctuary. Wellington resident Barbara Pond described this as a “heartbreaking” situation.
National Health Director-General Ashley Bloomfield admitted emotions were running high. But encouraged the public not to take out their grievances on health staff at the frontline. New Zealand pursues the same approach that managed to suppress the virus. It is after a seven-week freeze earlier this year — isolating positive cases, tracing connections and thorough testing. Ardern states that in the past two days swabs collect from 50,000 people.
After claims that most employees at Auckland airport have never been tested for the virus. The government makes testing compulsory for frontline personnel at ports and in isolation facilities.