KUALA LUMPUR, August 12 — Auckland has been put on lockdown when the largest metropolitan city in New Zealand recorded four new Covid-19 cases, after 102 days of zero local transmissions in the country.
BBC reported that the four new mysterious cases identified in the city infected all members of one family who had no recent travel history.
The three days of lockdown under the fourth level alert system in New Zealand began today, scheduled until Friday, while authorities have begun to carry out contact tracing measures.
New Zealand introduced a new alert system in March this year to declare the status of the country during Covid-19 pandemic. The alert system, which consists of four levels, outlines measures to be taken based on the country’s risk level caused by the pandemic.
This lockdown bans large gatherings and Auckland residents are required to stay at home, while non-essential businesses are closed. Social distancing measures will be implemented again for the entire country.
New Zealand was set for an election as the country was declared as ‘Covid-free’ in June. But the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern postponed the Parliament dissolution following the emergence of new Covid-19 cases.
“This is something we have prepared for,” Ms Ardern was quoted saying at a news conference.
“We have had 102 days and it was easy to feel New Zealand was out of the woods. No country has gone as far as we did without having a resurgence. And because we were the only ones, we had to plan. And we have planned,” she said.
Reuters reported today New Zealand’s health director-general Dr Ashley Bloomfield as saying that investigations were focusing on the possibility that Covid-19 was imported into the country by freight.
Surface testing is currently being done at an Auckland cool store where a man from the infected family had worked.
“We are very confident we didn’t have any community transmission for a very long period,” Bloomfield was quoted saying at a media conference. “We know the virus can survive within refrigerated environments for quite some time.”
So far, New Zealand recorded 1,575 Covid-19 cases with 22 deaths.