Press "Enter" to skip to content

Jacinda Ardern extends New Zealand’s lockdown by 12 days after an explosion of coronavirus cases 

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has extended the country’s lockdown by an additional 12 days after an explosion of coronavirus cases. 

Ms Ardern announced that Auckland would stay in level 3 restrictions and the rest of he nation would remain on level 2 after 13 new coronavirus cases were recorded on Friday.

New Zealand was the envy of the world after going 102 days without recording a locally transmitted case of coronavirus.

But on Tuesday the detection of four new infected family members shocked the country. 

Since then the island nation has recorded 30 cases of community transmission, 28 in Auckland and two in Tokoroa.

On Friday Ms Ardern announced that the lockdowns would be extended but said a move to level 4 was unnecessary.  

‘What is important is making sure we establish the perimeter of the cluster and to stop it from growing,’ the Prime Minister told reporters.  

The earliest known coronavirus case in the Auckland cluster was detected in a worker at the Americold Coolstore in Mt Wellington who became sick on July 31.

However this person maybe not be the earliest case as the chain of transmission has not been discovered.   

‘It will grow before it slows. And it may continue to be linked to schools, churches and social gatherings, as it has done to date,’ Ms Ardern said. 

‘In keeping with our cautionary approach and New Zealand’s philosophy of going hard and going early, today, cabinet has agreed to maintain our current settings for an additional 12 days, bringing us to a full two weeks in total.’ 

All of the new cases on Friday are connected to the existing cluster except for one, who is in hospital, which is still under investigation.  

Two of the new cases are linked to the Americold frozen storage facility, bringing the total number to 13. 

It is understood that the workplace has undergone testing for COVID-19 amid fears the virus survived on refrigerated freight sent from overseas and then spread to staff.

Five direct cases are workers, while seven others are family of infected staff. The refrigerated warehousing company is awaiting the results for 14 other workers. 

It has prompted health authorities to probe whether the virus was spread on frozen food shipments.  

The virus has also spread 200km away from Auckland after two of the new cases were confirmed further south in Tokoroa.    

New Zealand is believed to have at least 49 active cases of coronavirus.  

Anyone who has tested positive to the virus is required to quarantine in a managed facility. 

‘There is nothing to suggest we need to move to a level 4 lockdown,’ Ms Ardern said. 

‘Our intention is that Auckland and New Zealand will quickly move back down through alert levels if we continue on this track,’ Ms Ardern explained. 

Residents may only leave their homes for essential exercise, shopping and to provide care under the level 3 restrictions.  

People should stay in their immediate household bubble and school and work should be conducted from home where possible. 

Businesses are only open for takeaway and public venues like libraries and gyms are closed. 

Level 2 restrictions allow New Zealanders to gather up to a limit of 100 people and they are encouraged to socially distance at all times.   

Businesses may be open to the public provided they keep a record of customer details and maintain physical distancing. 

New Zealanders are encouraged to wear a face mask as a precaution.  

The lockdown measures are set to remain until 11.59pm on August 26.  

‘We will review these settings on August 21, we want to give about a week’s time to see how we are travelling before we review again,’ Ms Ardern said. 

More than 30,000 coronavirus tests have taken place and at least 38 people are in precautionary quarantine.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *