MELBOURNE: Precisely a yr after New Zealand recorded its first coronavirus case, the nation’s largest metropolis, Auckland, awakened on Sunday (Feb 28) to a second lockdown this month as well being authorities attempt to rein in a cluster of the extra contagious UK variant.
The seven-day lockdown of the town of practically 2 million, introduced late Saturday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, was prompted by the case of an individual who had been infectious for per week however had not been in isolation.
“It’s greater than possible there will likely be further instances locally,” Ardern instructed a televised information convention, though there have been no new instances recorded on Sunday.
The lockdown follows a three-day stay-at-home order in mid-February after a neighborhood emergence of the UK variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. About 14 instances are linked to the cluster.
“Regardless of our greatest efforts up to now, latest instances have gone to work after they should not have,” Ardern stated, promising police motion over breaches of the principles on self-isolating.
Opposition chief Judith Collins urged more durable penalties for many who don’t observe recommendation on isolation. “Nobody desires to be yo-yoing out and in lockdown,” Collins stated in an announcement.
The brand new lockdown, a part of Degree 3 curbs, lets individuals go away residence just for important procuring and work, whereas public venues will keep shut. Curbs elsewhere in New Zealand are to be tightened to Degree 2, setting limits on public gatherings.
The measures have disrupted a number of key occasions set for Auckland subsequent week.
The America’s Cup yacht race was postponed on Sunday and the Twenty20 Worldwide cricket match has been shifted to Wellington, to be performed behind closed doorways on Friday.
A preferred Lantern Pageant as a consequence of begin subsequent weekend has additionally been cancelled.
Social media customers from world wide expressed dismay on the robust response that might lock down a big metropolis over a single case, with one Twitter consumer writing, “They’re insane.”
Nonetheless, New Zealand’s swift measures throughout the previous yr, mixed with aggressive contact tracing and border closure, have been credited for its success in restraining the pandemic.
With 5 million individuals, New Zealand has recorded simply over 2,000 infections because the begin of the pandemic, and 26 deaths.