New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland entered into a seven-day lockdown from Sunday morning, after a new local case of coronavirus emerged.
Health officials could not immediately confirm how the person got infected or the variant, however, a genome sequencing of the new infection was under way.
The patient developed symptoms on Tuesday and is regarded as having been potentially infectious since Sunday, officials said. The person visited several public venues during that period.
“Based on this, we are in the unfortunate but necessary position to protect Aucklanders again,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing the lockdown said.
This comes two-weeks after Auckland’s nearly 2 million residents were plunged into a snap three-day lockdown when a family of three were diagnosed with the more transmissible UK variant of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Health authorities were trying to find out whether the new case was linked to the earlier February cluster, now at 12 infections.
The lockdown, with Level 3 restrictions, will allow people to leave home only for essential shopping and essential work, Ardern said.
Public venues will remain closed. Restrictions in the rest of the country will be tightened to Level 2 restrictions, including limits on public gatherings.
New Zealand, one of the most successful developed nations in controlling the spread of the pandemic, has seen just over 2,000 cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.