New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a week-long lockdown for the country’s biggest city, Auckland, after a fresh case of coronavirus was detected in the community there. The rest of New Zealand will witness the imposition of level 2 restrictions, limiting public gatherings.
As per reports, the detected case involves a man who recently tested positive for the virus after coming in contact with some Auckland residents. Ardern’s government called for an emergency Cabinet meeting and moved Auckland into a seven-day lockdown period starting 6 am Sunday.
Tight police checkpoints will monitor entry and exit points in the city, which has a two million-strong population.
Auckland Moves Into Lockdown Again
Auckland last went into lockdown earlier this month after a family of three were diagnosed with the UK virus strain. The three-day lockdown was lifted when authorities assured the spread had been contained.
Ardern, since the beginning of the pandemic last year, has been lauded for her effectively swift handling that moved to curb the spread of the virus in her country. Her Labour Party was re-elected to power in November 2020, with Ardern currently serving her second term as the youngest ever Prime Minister of New Zealand.
In a recent interview, she opened up about the strategy her government adopted to take action against the virus. She revealed she never ruled out the idea of strict lockdowns. Early in March, her lockdown came into force with sealing of borders. After that, the country experienced zero community spread for an impressive 102 days. Read more here.
New Zealand has reportedly ordered vaccine doses from four providers and health workers have begun getting early jabs.