New Zealand confirms first case of UK variant amid Auckland lockdown

WION Web Team
New Zealand Published: Feb 15, 2021, 08.06 AM(IST)

A passenger wearing a face mask arrives from New Zealand at Sydney International Airport Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Three members of a family in Auckland had tested positive for the UK variant, health experts confirmed.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the highly-contagious strain first found in the UK was detected in Auckland which was put under a lockdown on Sunday.

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The country's health ministry said, "the result reinforces the decision to take swift and robust action around the latest cases to detect and stamp out the possibility of any further transmission."

Three members of a family in Auckland had tested positive for the UK variant, health experts confirmed.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ordered a three-day lockdown in Auckland after two new coronavirus infections were detected. New Zealand was free of the virus for several months but has recently witnessed COVID-19 cases from abroad.

"I know we all feel the same way when this happens -- not again,"  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding, "But remember, we have been here before, that means we know how to get out of this -- together." 

Authorities ordered Auckland residents to stay home and shut schools and non-essential businesses while imposing the level 3 lockdown. The rest of the country has been placed under level two lockdown. 

Auckland which is the country's second-biggest city with a population of nearly two million had experienced more than two weeks in lockdown last August.

The authorities have made wearing masks mandatory with gatherings limited to a maximum of hundred people. New Zealand has recorded less than 2,000 infections and just 25 deaths in a population of five million.

New Zealand had taken strict measures as the virus was detected last March closing borders and imposing a five-week lockdown in March and April keeping the virus at bay.

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