Just one Covid-19 case forces New Zealand into a nationwide lockdown
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a nationwide lockdown over only one Coronavirus case. The Covid-19 case is the first locally transmitted case since February. During the announcement on Thursday, Prime Minister Ardern said that experts are presuming the case to be the highly contagious Delta variant. The genome sequencing of isolated viral sample is however still underway.
Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield has said the case of coronavirus is in an unvaccinated 58 year old man in Auckland. He has traveled to many parts of the country but no links have been established to him being an importer of the virus.
This case has brought New Zealand to the strictest lockdown level for next three days, starting 11:59 pm local time on Tuesday. The level four lockdown will have to be followed across nation that will have people stay at home with businesses closed, and only essential services like pharmacies and supermarkets open. The patient had traveled to Auckland and New Zealand’s north island, Coromandel Peninsula. For this reason these two regions would be under level four lockdown for at least a week.
“We are one of the last countries in the world to have the Delta variant in our community,” Prime Minister Ardern said. “We’re in the position to learn from experience overseas, and what actions work, and what actions don’t work.” She added, “Delta has been called a gamechanger — and it is. It means we need to again go hard and early to stop the spread. We have seen what can happen elsewhere if we fail to get on top of it. We only get one chance.”
New Zealand had been under level four lockdown a year before. The country has been appreciated for its proactive approach in handling the pandemic outbreak early on by closing the borders for all foreign nationals. As a result New Zealand did not witness any devastating outbreaks like other countries of the coronavirus pandemic.