New Zealand has announced an extension of the coronavirus lock in its largest city as it tries to get hold of the country’s first outbreak in months.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the extension of the Auckland lockdown, which began on Wednesday, would give authorities time to take care of the virus cluster and isolate the infected. The shutdown will last an additional 12 days after the first new infection in just over 100 days.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the extension of the Auckland lockdown, which began on Wednesday, would give authorities time to take care of the virus cluster and isolate the infected.
“Together, we must get rid of COVID sooner,” Ardern said in the much-anticipated address.
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“We have kept it out for 102 days, longer than any other country,” she said. “We have been a world leader in our COVID response, with the result that many lives were saved and our economy began to run faster than almost anywhere else. We can do all this again.”
The outbreak has grown to 30 people, which now extends beyond Auckland for the first time.
The only known cases were travelers who quarantined after arriving from abroad.
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The health authorities believe that the virus must have been reintroduced from abroad, but tests have not shown a link between the virus and the quarantine travelers.
Several infections at a food storage facility prompted the authorities to investigate shipping companies instead as the possible source of the new infections.
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Ashley Bloomfield, director general of health, said they carried out rigorous tests at the port of Auckland “as part of our investigation only to track the chain of Americold goods that may have entered the port and been transported to the Mt. Wellington depot.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.