New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern ends snap lockdown in Auckland

WION Web Team
Auckland, New Zealand Published: Feb 17, 2021, 11.12 AM(IST)

Coronavirus in New Zealand Photograph:( AFP )

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Auckland will still remain at alert level two, under which all public gatherings have been limited to a maximum headcount of 100

A few days after the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, imposed a snap lockdown in Auckland, she has decided to lift the 'stay-at-home' order.

Ardern, on Wednesday, announced that she is confident the deadly coronavirus has ended and has therefore decided to lift the lockdown from its largest city, Auckland.

"(It appears) that we don't have a widespread outbreak, but rather a small chain of transmission which is manageable via our normal contact tracing and testing procedures," she said.

Also read| New Zealand confirms first case of UK variant amid Auckland lockdown

The lockdown will end late Wednesday. However, the city will still remain at alert level two, under which all public gatherings have been limited to a maximum headcount of 100 and face masks have been made compulsory on all forms of public transport.

While the whole city is now allowed to step out of their homes with necessary precautions, students and staff of a specific suburban school have been asked to stay at home as the school had reported three positive cases.

Ardern, who has been widely praised for handling the pandemic nicely in her country said the snap lockdown was to make sure the country does not get infected with the new variation of the deadly virus.

Also read| Melbourne to end coronavirus lockdown after 'short, sharp circuit-breaker'

"We wanted to make sure we took a cautious approach because that's much, much better than getting it wrong and having a large scale outbreak and a long lockdown," she said.

Meanwhile, health experts and scientists of New Zealand are still working to detect the source of the infection detected recently — which is a strain of the new UK variant.

"There is an indescribable anxiety that comes with the daily grind of managing a pandemic and I think we all feel it," Ardern said.

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