New Zealand city going into 3-day lockdown after virus found


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s largest city of Auckland will go into a three-day lockdown starting simply earlier than midnight Sunday following the invention of three unexplained coronavirus instances in the neighborhood.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced the transfer after an pressing assembly with different prime lawmakers within the Cabinet. She mentioned they determined to take a cautious strategy till they discover out extra concerning the outbreak, together with whether or not the infections are of the extra contagious variants.

The lockdown is the primary in New Zealand in six months and represents a major setback within the nation’s largely profitable efforts to regulate the virus. It may also power a delay within the America’s Cup crusing regatta.

New Zealand had efficiently stamped out group unfold, and many individuals elsewhere on this planet seemed on in envy as New Zealanders went again to work and commenced attending live shows and sporting occasions with out the necessity to put on masks or take different precautions.

Indeed, Ardern on Sunday had deliberate to attend the Big Gay Out, an Auckland competition that celebrates the rainbow group and attracts tens of hundreds of individuals. She ended up canceling these plans and returning to Wellington to handle the outbreak.

“I’m asking New Zealanders to continue to be strong and to be kind,” Ardern mentioned at a rapidly organized press convention on Sunday night. “I know we all feel the same way when this happens. We all get that sense of ‘Not again.’ But remember, we have been here before and that means we know how to get out of this again, and that is together.”

New Zealand’s biggest vulnerability has been on the border.

New instances are recurrently caught amongst returning vacationers, all of whom are required to spend two weeks in quarantine. Despite precautions, there have been a number of occasions when the virus has leaked out from the border earlier than being managed once more, and officers are attempting to find out whether or not that’s occurred once more.

In the most recent case, an Auckland mom, father and daughter caught the illness. Officials mentioned the mom works at a catering firm that does laundry for airways, and officers are investigating whether or not there’s a hyperlink to contaminated passengers. Officials mentioned the lady hadn’t been going aboard the planes herself.

Officials mentioned the remainder of New Zealand exterior of Auckland may also be positioned below heightened restrictions, though is not going to go into lockdown.

“We are gathering all of the facts as quickly as we can, and the system that served us so well in the past is really gearing up to do so again,” mentioned COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.

He described the instances as new and lively. He mentioned scientists are finishing up genome sequencing to see whether or not they’re variants, and in addition to see whether or not they match with any contaminated passengers.

“New Zealand has kept COVID-19 contained better than almost any other country,” Hipkins mentioned. “But as we have kept saying, there is no such thing as no risk.”

New Zealand, with a inhabitants of 5 million, has reported a complete of simply over 2,300 instances and 25 deaths for the reason that pandemic began.

The nation has been internet hosting the America’s Cup crusing regatta. Racing was because of proceed on Wednesday within the Prada Cup challenger collection, however organizers have introduced {that a} postponement shall be crucial. Italy’s Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli leads Britain’s INEOS Team UK 4-0 within the first-to-seven collection. The winner will then tackle Emirates Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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