After health officials discovered the first local transmission in six months, New Zealand is under a new COVID-19 lockdown for three days and two locations, including Auckland, will be under the restriction for a week.
The lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday, and she cautioned that the unprecedented action is required.
Only basic services such as supermarkets and pharmacies will be allowed to operate in most areas over the next three days, and all inhabitants are required to remain at home.
“Delta is serious, and we have every reason to believe this is the Delta variant. And we can see from around the world that it is a game-changer. So that means we need to respond to that,” Ardern told reporters at a news conference.
In Auckland, the patient, a 58-year-old man who had not been vaccinated, tested positive for the virus.
For the next seven days, Auckland, where the affected guy lives, and Coromandel, where he is known to have visited, will be under lockdown.
“A hard and early response is the best tool to stamp out any potential spread and everyone in New Zealand is asked to stay calm, be kind and play their part while we gather more information on the potential case,” the government said in a statement.
“We are one of the last countries in the world to have the Delta variant in our community,” Health Director General Ashley Bloomfield said during a press conference.
“We’re in the position to learn from experience overseas, and what actions work, and what actions don’t work.”
To far, there have been 2,600 coronavirus cases in New Zealand, with over 2.5 million vaccination doses delivered.
A positive case of #COVID19 has been identified in the community early this afternoon and is now under investigation.— Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora (@minhealthnz) August 17, 2021
We will provide further updates once additional information comes to hand.https://t.co/7NhpXuydg2