Coronavirus: New Zealand officials hint lockdown extension on the cards

Cheryl Sanders
August 13, 2020

Earlier, PM Ardern had warned that new cases may come up in the future as New Zealanders returned home, and some others were allowed in under special conditions.

The World Health Organisation website states that there is now no confirmed case of Covid-19 transmitted through food or food packaging.

Earlier this week - New Zealand was the envy of the world, with zero cases of the coronavirus for more than three months.

The decision comes after Aucklanders were forced back into a Level 3 lockdown yesterday at midday, while the rest of the country moved to Alert Level 2.

The country diagnosed its first COVID-19 case on 26 February; when it became clear by mid-March that there was community transmission, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern laid out a science-driven response that identified four levels of restrictions that would be imposed and relaxed according to circumstances-beginning with a strict lockdown.

"We don't know how far it's spread in the last 24 hours".

Health authorities in New Zealand are scrambling to trace the source of a new outbreak of the coronavirus as the nation's largest city, Auckland, goes back into lockdown. NZ's Director General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield says a lot of thought had gone into moving confirmed cases into quarantine facilities.

It remains unclear what caused the latest outbreak.

The fourteenth case - was an overseas arrival in quarantine that also tested positive.

New Zealand health authorities have reported 14 new coronavirus cases - including 13 linked to one household in Auckland.

There was also growing anger at revelations that members of the infected family had visited several tourist sites in the town of Rotorua and an aged care home in the Waikato district, both south of Auckland.

Officials reported on Thursday that three more people at a refrigerator storage facility, where one of the family members worked, had tested positive.

We ask that all recreational water users under Level 3 and 2, keep a record of their travel and wear masks in situations where it is hard to maintain physical distancing.

New Zealand's new cluster comes just weeks away from a national election scheduled for September 19.

Ardern said her cabinet will decide on Friday on the next steps with regards to restrictions.

The country will be hoping it can avoid a similar situation to its neighbor Australia, where the state of Victoria is reporting hundreds of new cases each day. Ardern pointed out that the chilled environment could have aided the spread of the virus once one person had it. Reserve Bank of New Zealand Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand told Reuters the resurgence posed "a major risk" to the bank's outlook, given its baseline scenario has an assumption that the virus is contained in the country. Under New Zealand law, Ardern could delay the polls for up to two months.

"We'll have a wide range of testing from the community before we make that decision".

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