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New Zealand confirms first new COVID-19 cases in community after 102 days

Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, is set to go into lockdown again after the country's first ...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.33 11 Aug 2020


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New Zealand confirms first new...

New Zealand confirms first new COVID-19 cases in community after 102 days

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.33 11 Aug 2020


Share this article


Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, is set to go into lockdown again after the country's first new cases of COVID-19 community transmission in over 100 days were detected.

On Sunday, New Zealand marked a milestone 100 days without local transmission, with all active cases of the virus being treated in isolation facilities.

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today confirmed four new cases had been detected in Auckland - saying the source of the new cases was not immediately clear.

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A case was initially detected in an individual in their 50s in south Auckland, and close contact testing showed three other people in the household positive for the virus.

Officials said the case was not linked to overseas travel.

As a result of the new cases, schools, crechés, pubs and restaurants in the city are being asked to close by Wednesday morning local time.

In a press conference, Ms Ardern said: "After 102 days, we have our first cases of COVID-19 outside of a manged isolation or quarantine facility.

"While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned and prepared for it.

"We have a resurgence plan that we will now activate."

Ms Ardern urged residents in the country to not rush to supermarkets, saying the previous lockdown showed there will be "ample stocks on the shelves".

However, local media reports there was 'chaos' in Auckland's supermarkets as thousands rushed to stock up on supplies.

The current lockdown in Auckland will be in place for at least three days, with Ms Ardern saying that will give officials time to assess the situation and test tens of thousands of people in the coming days.

She also urged people in the rest of the country to "stand ready again" - saying the country has "come too far to go backwards".

The alert level for the rest of the country has been upped to 'level two', meaning mass gatherings will again be limited to 100 people.

Main image: Jacinda Ardern. Picture by: Mark Mitchell/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

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