'Delta poses a greater threat': New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern defends lockdown call

WION Web Team
ChristchurchUpdated: Aug 18, 2021, 03:21 PM IST

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (file photo) Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern had ordered a three-day lockdown in the country after a case of community transfer of the virus was detected


A day after announcing a nationwide lockdown, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern warned that the coronavirus outbreak may grow in the country.

New Zealand had reported the first case of community transfer of the virus on Tuesday in Auckland as health officials began their investigations.

On Wednesday, ten more coronavirus cases were detected in the country. The New Zealand prime minister had said it was a suspected case of Delta variant as she announced a lockdown.

Ardern asserted that "Level 4 (hard lockdown) is the right place to be" as the number of cases increased in the country. New Zealand health officials predicted there could be 120 community cases as the prime minister said the first case had originated in Australia.

The snap lockdown currently in place is due to last for three days. The New Zealand prime minister informed that there have been three positive coronavirus border cases this month from Sydney.

"Yes, Delta poses a greater threat, but the same tools that have worked before will do so again if we follow the rules," the New Zealand prime minister asserted.

New Zealand has been successful in combating the virus so far with just 26 deaths reported compared to neighbouring Australia which has seen a series of lockdowns amid a surge in cases.

Ardern earlier this week had announced quarantine free travel for travellers who have been vaccinated but informed that the country's borders will remain closed this year.

(With inputs from Agencies)