New Zealanders struggling to understand how COVID-19 has reappeared

Henrietta Brewer
August 14, 2020

He played down one line of inquiry examining whether the virus was imported via freight, then picked up by a male member of the family, who worked in a cool room for imported goods.

But later, the school posted that the Government had been in touch to confirm that in fact there were no cases at the school.

Ardern, under pressure ahead of a general election next month, repeated her "go hard, go early" response to the pandemic this week, putting Auckland, home to about 1.7 million people, into lockdown and reinstating social distancing measures across the country.

Jacinda Ardern will meet with cabinet at 3pm local time on Friday to discuss where to next, and at 5.30pm she will hold a media briefing to announce her decision on whether Auckland's lockdown will extend past midnight.

The unexpected outbreak of a family-of-four plunged New Zealand back into lockdown after 102 days without recording a locally transmitted case of the virus.

But on Tuesday, New Zealand reported that a family of four in Auckland had been infected with coronavirus, despite having no history of overseas travel and no connection with any known cases.

New Zealand confirmed 12 new cases and one probable case of COVID-19 on Friday, with the 12 cases linked to the community transmission from an Auckland family cluster, amid the second and stronger wave of the epidemic in the country.

It remains unclear what caused the latest outbreak. Several countries are linked to either exported or imported frozen food that tested positive for traces of the virus, but experts say they believe the risk of developing COVID-19 from handling these products remains extremely low.

Dr Bloomfield said 38 people linked to the cluster were already in the Auckland quarantine facility and this included the cases and household members.

Two more schools and a preschool in Auckland have closed, after a student in each tested positive.

Authorities are testing surfaces at Americold's warehouse for Covid-19, but Ardern emphasized that the most likely cause of the outbreak was human-to-human transmission. "We just wouldn't have not found cases in community if it was lurking away in the community". Like New Zealand, Australia imposed strict border controls, but the current outbreak has been linked to poor practices at the border.

The rest of New Zealand will adhere to Level 2 restrictions.

He also said the chief executive of Pharmac had notified him that people were starting to stockpile medicines.

"We know how to beat this, but we also know we don't have to look far to see what it can mean if we don't get on top of it".

This story was first published on "New Zealand was acclaimed a world leader in handling Covid-19".

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