New Zealand’s largest city Auckland back to lockdown after new COVID-19 cases

illume - After just 3 days enjoying the atmosphere of freedom, Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, had to return to a blockade for a week to deal with the risk of Covid-19 infection in the community.

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Starting at 6am this morning local time (February 28), Auckland city was put in a blockade for at least 7 days to serve the work of tracing and preventing the spread of disease. It is New Zealand’s largest city with 1.7 million inhabitants and is home to a number of Covid-19 community infections in this country in the last 2 weeks.

The New Zealand government decided to apply a level 3 epidemic alert, which would block the city of Auckland. People are only allowed to leave their homes for essential needs. Non-essential schools and shops will be closed with limited access to the city. Other localities across the country were also upgraded to a level 2 alarm and limit the size of gatherings of people in public places.

New Zealand's largest city Auckland back to lockdown after new COVID-19 cases
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a 7-day blockade for the city of Auckland to prevent the spread of the epidemic (Image: AAP)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the decision to block the city of Auckland was regrettable but necessary and called on the people to join hands to fight against Covid-19: “Fighting against Covid-19 requires collective efforts. Despite our efforts, recent cases still go to work when they shouldn’t. Everyone should do what is essential so that those who carry the virus stay home. This will help the disease alert situation quickly return to the lower level and ensure everyone’s safety ”.

New Zealand decided to block the city of Auckland for 7 days starting early this morning after the health authorities discovered a case of Covid-19 of unknown source in the community. The New Zealand Health Authority said the new case, potentially infected from last Sunday (February 21), began to show symptoms two days later and during this time the patient had arrived at some public places. The health agency said it is currently not able to confirm the source of the infection and is conducting genome sequencing of the new case to see if it is related to the recent cluster of 12 cases of community infections.

In the middle of this month, New Zealand recorded three cases of Covid-19 originating from the UK in a family of three living in Auckland City. Soon after, a number of close contacts of the cases were infected.

Although only a small cluster of infections and less likely to break out into a new outbreak, but to prevent any potential danger, from last Thursday (February 25) the states located in the East of Australia. New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have decided to suspend the quarantine-free travel program for people from Auckland. Visitors from Auckland to these three Australian states will be tested for Covid-19 and quarantined for 14 days according to current regulations.