New Zealand Has First Lockdown Due to COVID-19 in Six Months After Three Positive Cases
By: Adam Beam 2/20/21
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images
The city of Auckland, with a population of more than two million people, and the largest city in New Zealand has gone into a citywide lockdown after three COVID-19 cases were reported.
The variant of the disease is the recent UK B1.1.7 strand that is slowly making its way across the globe, and is believed to be more transmissible than other variants.
Officials were quick to act as the shutdown lasted three days beginning this past Sunday, resulting in large lines at several supermarkets and convenience stores in order to stock up on supplies in the event the shutdown would be extended.
“We were absolutely right to make the decision to be extra cautious because we assumed it was going to be one of the more transmissible variants,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on a Facebook Live post on Monday.
It should be noted that the lockdown in Auckland is the first large scale lockdown the country has had in six months. In fact, New Zealand has remained one of the top countries when it comes to containing the spread of the virus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has only seen a total of 2,230 positive cases, as well as only 25 reported deaths.
No new cases have been reported since the initial three reports. However, as a precaution the country’s COVID-19 Alert had been moved up to a level two, and these new cases have now put a halt on Australia's arrangement to allow New Zealanders to enter the country without the 14-day quarantine period.
Things however could be looking up for the city as the three have now all tested negative and the first wave of COVID vaccines have arrived in the country.