Lockdown extends in New Zealand’s
New Zeadand Prime Minister Ardern extended a lockdown in the country’s biggest city on friday in response to the first national coronavirus outbreak in months, sticking with a”go early,go hard” approach she said has proven effective.
Ardern said genomic testing has shown the latest outbreak is a different strain to the latest outbreak is a different strain to the original outbreak in New Zealand earlier in the year, suggesting it was new to the country.
The New Zealand leader said lockdown measures in Auckland, home to about 1.7 million people, and social distancing measures across the country that were imposed on Wednesday would remain in place for another 12 days.
Her swift action followed the discovery on Tuesday of the country’s first COVID-19 infections in 102 days, in a family in Auckland. Since then, officials have identified a total of 29 cases, all linked to the same cluster.
”As we have said from the start, our overall Covid-19 strategy remains eliminations,”Ardern said in a televised media conference.”Together,we have got rid of covid before. We have kept it out for 102 days, longer than any other country. we can do all of that again.”
Ardern is under pressure ahead of upcoming general election, with the main opposition National party accusing the government of failing to secure quarantine facilities and withholding information.
Ardern said contact tracing and genomic testing had found no links with the current outbreak to the country’s border entry points or managed quarantine facilities. She said genome sequencing disproved the theory from some health experts that the virus could have been quietly moving through community since the original outbreak.
”This suggests this is not a case of the virus being dormant or of a burning ember in our community,”she said,”It appears to be new to New Zealand”.